The latest report from Palmer Market Research makes for rather depressing reading.

It’s latest research shows that 2010 was the fourth consecutive year of decline for the industry. With an industry valued at £3.7 billion for 2010, we are a way off from the high of £5.4 billion in 2006. 2010 saw a 4% in value compared to 2009. 

This year is set to see an eye watering 10% dip, with absolutely no growth for our industry until 2015, and even then this growth is set to be only very slight, which gives it scope for possible no growth if things don’t improve as planned in the medium turn.

Private sector home improvements represents 80% of the industry. So falls of 10% in a single year really do have serious ramifications.

In 2010, the windows market was down 2% from 2009. And conservatories were down a massive 12% from 2009 also. The news gets worse for conservatories – 2010 saw the worst sales since 1995, with only 92,500 being sold during the whole of the year. It seems consumer confidence for big ticket items is simple not there in any amount.

The speedy slowdown of PVCu panel doors continued, showing a 22% drop in 2010 compared with 2009. But good news if you’re a composite door company! 2010 saw a massive 30% increase when compared to the year previously – the silver lining in what is a very big, dark and menacing cloud.

PVCu remained the material of choice by a long way, having an 84% slice of the pie.

What this report confirms is that our industry, as well as the rest of the UK economy is set to enter a second recession, with consequences far more serious and further reaching…probably. Our industry is going to have to go through some very painful changes if it is to survive, and for a couple of years longer than what I had originally predicted.