Wow, what a March. We’re already at the end of the first quarter and it certainly seems to have arrived very quickly. It’s been a busy month in many aspects, so as we head into April and the second quarter, lets take a look back at our industry in the past month.
Full steam ahead
In February’s review I summarised that this was the month in which the industry stepped up a gear from a sluggish January. For March, I guess I would say that this was the month in which the industry put it’s foot down on the gas pedal.
Anecdotally, and looking at the general positivity coming out of the industry on social media, business picked up big time during March. I can vouch for this using our installation business as an example. We were running at full capacity across all areas during the whole month. It was, and still is, very tiring. Still, lots of business coming in for us and most installers by the sounds of it.
What I find interesting is that there shows no signs of a let up as we get closer to the EU referendum. I have spoken on here before about events like this having a negative effect on business. A referendum of this magnitude, with such serious consequences if we voted to leave, should in theory put a dampener on most things business as the public becomes more conservative with their spending. Yet, three months away and the all important date edging closer, there has been so signs of the public closing their wallets.
Stories outside the industry
In the early part of the month we had the eighth budget from Chancellor George Osbourne. At first the reviews were positive. However, as the finer print was read, outrage grew as the news broke that disability benefits were going to be very seriously cut. A swift U-turn by the Government saw those proposals dropped.
There was also very little in it to address the housing crisis, VAT on windows and doors, and anything else with general construction in mind. This was disappointing from an industry perspective.
Then there was the horrific bombings in Brussels that killed over thirty people in the capitol’s airport and underground stations. Another chilling reminder of the dangers IS continues to pose to Europe.
To round off a month of generally bad news, Tata Steel announced the sale of their entire UK business citing massive daily losses. The Government has ruled out nationalisation, and Tata have said there isn’t an unlimited amount of time to save the business. There is a significant chance the steel industry could disappear from our industry fairly soon.
A second look
Here are five of the most read and eye catching posts published in March that are worth a second reading:
Some good reads in there, and some good comments from readers to take in too.
Here’s how DGB performed in March. I’m happy to report another strong month of growth compared to March 2015: