An upward trend?

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell reflects on an enjoyable day in the sun.

The Glass Times Race Day was a fine success at Haydock last week, and it is always a pleasure to spend a day in the company of such esteemed individuals.

The way the day is organised – champagne reception, meal, races, late-night bar – means that you get to spend time with lots of people, even if some of those conversations are fleeting. It also means I got to hear a lot about what was happening all across the industry.

Much of what was discussed was positive – new products, winning awards, drinking tea with the Queen, merging companies, starting new jobs, entering new markets – and it is all life-affirming, even if some of those conversations became rather surreal by the end of the night.

However, this year there was an undercurrent of caution. Confidence among homeowners appears to have applied pressure to the brakes, and I heard that volumes were down from anywhere between 8% and 15%.

Some of this could be down to the typical seasonal undulations, but there was also a suggestion that the uncertainties following Brexit are starting to bite, which have been compounded by an ill-judged general election.

There are a clutch of manufacturing stories this week that support these fears, but it is worth reminding ourselves that even as we experience dips from time to time, these can be overshadowed by an overall upward trend.