The latest survey from the Construction Products Association has revealed an improved trading performance by manufacturers.
The figures contradict last month’s official data from the Office For National Statistics, which showed a 4.7 per cent decline in construction output in the first quarter of 2011.
The CPA questioned the validity of the ONS figures at the time, although it admits that the long-term outlook remains uncertain for construction product manufacturers.
The first quarter trading improvement was attributed to unseasonal mild and dry weather, restocking and a favourable exchange rate.
CPA economics director Noble Francis (pictured) said: “The survey highlights that the situation for construction product manufacturers remained challenging in the first quarter of 2011 yet this is a considerable improvement on 2010 Q4 which suffered greatly from the impacts of the bad weather in November and December.
“Some 48% of manufacturers reported that sales of construction products rose in 2011 Q1, compared to just 14 per cent in 2010 Q4. Yet the scale of the fall in the official figures is extremely surprising and inconsistent with information from this survey and anecdotal evidence from the industry.”