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ARCHITECTURAL & DECORATIVE COATINGS & SURFACES


POSITIVE NEWS FROM THE COATINGS INDUSTRY


The British Coatings Federation (BCF) reports better news recently from the coatings industry, reflecting the more positive developments in UK construction and manufacturing activity over recent months.


New figures from Whittle Industry Data, which provides a statistics service for BCF member companies, show some encoura- ging improvements in the decorative and industrial paint sectors, adding support to the view that the UK economy is finally turn- ing the corner, although with printing ink and wall covering sales remaining subdued.


In the decorative sector, trade paint sales increased for the seventh month in a row with volumes in the last quarter, up nearly 10% on a year ago and boosted by the continued recovery in the housing and construction markets. The results mirror improvements in construction products in general, where growth increased sharply in Q3 and where the outlook remains upbeat for 2014.


Consumer confidence has also improved in recent months and this is also now being reflected in the hard-pressed retail paint sector which is beginning to show some


useful increases and with the last quarter of 2013 seeing double-digit growth.


On the industrial coatings side, the picture is more mixed and trading conditions continue to be tough, says the BCF, but there were increases in four of the last five months of 2013 after a very difficult start to the year. Sales litreage in the three months to December 2013 as a whole was up 2.5% – broadly in line with the growth in UK manu- facturing output, which has also improved.


For the printing ink sector, 2013 was another tough year, particularly in publication inks but there are signs that the slowdown is moderating compared with earlier in the year.


For wall coverings, Q3 of 2013 was disa- ppointing but over the longer term sales for the last year were not too badly hit and the omens for 2014 point towards a more encouraging outlook as the housing and consumer markets continue to improve.


The BCF statistics provide a useful barometer for the UK economy and overall the sector is outperforming the general manufacturing output numbers with this


performance, which, says the BCF, “should warm the hearts of even the most pessimistic amongst us as we look forward to 2014.”


Distance learning


The British Coatings Federation (BCF), in a new collaboration with the Vincentz Network, now operates a major new training initiative for the global coatings industry and its supply chain called “The Coatings Training Institute”. This represents an update of the original BCF training modules and is an ideal distance learning tool for anyone who needs to know more about coatings technology.


The new website – www.thecoatingsinstitute.com – went live in November 2013 after significant investment in a new state of the art training portal for the industry.


The BCF – www.coatings.org.uk – is the sole UK trade association representing the UK paint and coatings industry.


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