Boiler sales at their lowest for 10 years
Sales of new boilers have declined dramatically and are now at their lowest for ten years according to the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC). The news adds to evidence that the UK construction industry is presently in a precarious state.
The HHIC represent the entire supply chain serving the heating industry and they are now calling for action in order to prevent even more businesses fail in the face of a depressed housing and construction sector. In general British boiler manufacturers have a good reputation and have invested heavily in product development and new technology thereby acting as a showcase for UK manufacturing. Nevertheless, natural gas and LPG boiler sales up to June 2012 amounted to 671,435, essentially a 5.9% fall in sales since 2011. The last time sales figures were this low was in 2002 when they stood at 638,199.
Boiler sales depend heavily on the housing market and so the decline in property transactions and falls in new housing starts together with a general reduction in consumer confidence have all had a negative impact on the boiler industry.
"There is an urgent need for action to help the construction sector in the UK" said Roger Webb, the HHIC Director. "The housing market is depressed and this is clearly hitting UK manufacturing as well. These figures are further evidence of the need to provide a stimulus in housing and construction sectors that can also benefit other vulnerable areas of the economy. There are a number of things that Government could do to help, from cuts to VAT to increasing access to finance, that could help our industry right now. Planned measures such as the Green Deal may help, but that won't kick in for months and its impact is as yet uncertain."