FIS latest quarterly trends survey shows that there is cautious optimism in the sector, but recovery is patchy.

The latest data gathered as part of the wider Construction Products Association quarterly trends survey shows that Overall 50% of respondents reported increased quarterly sales in Q1 2021, however workload remains constrained, with the balance reporting workloads slipping back on a quarterly basis.  The spread of the response is indicative of the patchy nature of recovery.  The market is, however becoming increasingly optimistic with a balance of 63% expecting increased sales in the next quarter and 26% anticipating this will convert into actual work.

Shortage is the watchword for 2021 in the finishes and interiors sector and this has manifested in inflation through the supply chain.  Over the past 12 months shortage in key materials hit the headlines (e.g. plaster and plasterboard) largely driven by COVID related production issues.  In 2021 whilst issues related to gypsum products has eased, more globalised issues related to steel, screws and fixings, timber and now polymeric products such as sealants are starting to drive allocation and extended lead times.  We have also seen shipping and transport costs impacted by Brexit, but this now seems to be easing.  Outside of these figures the rising cost of insurance and availability of cover has been raised as a concern.

FIS CEO, Iain McIlwee stated “I think if we knew 12 months ago we would expected to have seen far worse numbers, on the whole there are a lot of positives in there.  These figures are consistent with conversations we are having with members, there is work out there, but some sectors and regions are lighter than others and it is difficult to take a longer term view.  I take confidence from conversations with the Bank of England this week about long term investment patterns, but I am a little wary that the delays in work and decisions will leave a bit of an air bubble in the system and that cash, material and labour shortages will make things tricky for many in balancing things over the next 12 months”.

Iain McIlwee, FIS Chief Executive

Market Data

FIS members have access to a wealth of Market Data, from leading sources like the Construction Products Association and Barbour ABI. In addition, FIS also gathers data specifically related to the finishes and interiors sector.