Optimistic mood prevails

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell studies the latest industry reports.

We include a fairly detailed report from Glenigan this week.

Yesterday (Tuesday November 10) I watched contributors to the report discuss their findings on a live YouTube Stream (available here – it starts about 15 minutes in), which really put the meat on the bones of what would otherwise be a fairly dry document.

It also showed a little more positivity than what the report, on its own, portrayed.

In fact, Glenigan’s Robert Davis said: “There is a good level of optimism going into 2021.”

And this is despite the dual negative forces of the pandemic and Brexit.

Separately, the headline seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index rose to 53.1, from 56.8 in September. The index has registered above the 50.0 no-change mark in each month since June – signalling optimism from those questioned.

House building was by far the best-performing area of construction activity in October (index at 62.4) and the speed of recovery eased only slightly since September. Survey respondents often commented on pent up demand and a boost from improving housing market conditions in recent months.

Looking ahead, construction companies reported optimism towards their prospects for the next 12 months, despite concerns about the wider economic outlook. Around 45% of the survey panel anticipate a rise in output during the year ahead, while only 14% forecast a reduction.

Closer to home, we also report this week on market opportunities highlighted by Bohle and Pilkington UK.

Yes, there is significant negative news, such as the winding up of Total Glass (which will have repercussions up and down the supply chain) but we should celebrate the positives, especially when Glenigan pointed out that no construction sites had shut down as a result of the second lockdown.