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Pride in manufacturing

In our last newsletter, we looked into the Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) report on the final quarter of 2016 and offered our thoughts on what to expect in roofing in 2017. It seemed like the sector had a positive year to look forward to with roofing products experiencing a boost in sales despite the economic uncertainty brought on by Brexit.

Since then, we’ve survived a snap election and we’re happy to see that the positive outlook is on track. The recent Purchase Managers’ Index statistics, compiled by IHS Markit and The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), show that the start of the second quarter has seen a solid improvement in the performance of British factories.

New order growth figures hit a three-year high of 57.3 in April jumping from 54.2 in March. Rates of expansion in output, total new orders and new export work all gathered pace with domestic contracts constituting the bulk of this new business. This is all underpinned by robust business confidence and shows that the political upheavals have failed to dampen the sector’s spirits.

At Midland Lead, we’ve been working hard to help meet this growth and continue to be positive about the year ahead. To ensure we’re meeting the demands of our customers, we consistently add new products to our ancillaries range and continue to be the only UK lead manufacturer to offer the entire range of lead products, meeting every leadwork demand.

It’s not only the team here at Midland Lead feeling optimistic about future growth, the Engineering Employers’ Federation has forecasted manufacturing to expand by 1.3% in 2017 and 0.5% in 2018, up from 1% and 0.1% respectively.

Despite the buoyancy and peak in the sector in April and long-term predictions for growth, it’s important to be aware of future events that could disrupt growth, such as Brexit negotiations. This is reflected in the recently released May PMI data that registered a decline in new order growth figures to 53.8, signalling a slowdown. This dip has been linked to delays with decision making ahead of the election and intense competition for new work. That being said, the PMI indicates that any score above 50 means expansion.

However, should any of our merchants or contractors have any concerns about the year ahead, our team of experts is always on hand to offer practical advice. Considering how the industry has continued to remain positive in the face of the referendum and the snap election despite predicted losses, there is every indication that it will remain on its upward trajectory.