Manufacturers expect sales to grow in 2016

More than a third (38 per cent) of manufacturers in the furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances sectors reported an increase in sales in Q4.

According to the latest State of Trade survey from the Construction Products Association, this is the eleventh consecutive quarter of growth. In Q3, 29 per cent reported growth in sales.

Just under a quarter (23 per cent) reported sales higher than the previous year, which was the lowest level since Q2 in 2013.

The value of the pound rose 9.4 per cent against the euro in Q4, which the report said constrained export sales. This resulted in 20 per cent of firms reporting a decline in exports compared with the year before.

Despite this, 58 per cent said they expected further growth in the first quarter of this year and 42 per cent anticipated growth for the whole of 2016.

For the last quarter of 2015, eight per cent said they experienced an increase in costs, the lowest level since Q4 in 2008. In light of this, more than three-quarters (77 per cent) saw wages and salaries increase.