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First-quarter sales up 5pc on last year

Materials

PRODUCT manufacturers have seen sales volumes jump in the first quarter of the year, according to a trade survey.

Figures from manufacturers body the Construction Products Association (CPA) show that more than a third of all companies reported a first-quarter increase in sales of more than 5 per cent compared with the same period last year.

And the survey found that manufacturers anticipate continued growth in the next few months and are set to increase capital expenditure because of the rosy outlook.

'Expectations are high, with further growth anticipated over the next few months based on the government delivering its promised spending, ' said CPA economics director Alan Wilen.

Mr Wilen said the lively construction product sector could encourage the rest of manufacturing to raise productivity.

But the study also highlighted increased cost pressures as companies are hit by tax burdens such as the climate change levy.

It warned that the low value of the euro and increased competition from developing countries would hit export markets.