Almost all of them have been wrong. Compared to them, the record of some of our own industry forecasts are much better. One of the best this year, by Tony Walsh, Chairman of Freefoam Building Products, the leading roofline and rainwater products manufacturer, recorded five major predictions for the year at the start of 2010, and added another five for 2011 at http://freefoamblog.com/2011-interesting-times/.
Tony comments: “Reviewing your forecasts is a useful exercise, although it can be humbling at times. I’d give our predictions four and a half out of five for 2010. Resin prices rose strongly throughout the year. Although I predicted falls in between the rises, what we actually saw were pauses in the ongoing flow of news alerts. Shortages meant many producers were given allocated supplies which limited their bargaining power. The situation was made worse by money grabbing exercises. Premium products were sold at bargain basement prices, and this pulled the whole market down as added value was reduced. Consumers were the winners but they didn’t know it. On a positive note, demand for coloured products continued to grow as suppliers promoted the benefits of installers differentiating themselves. Consumers reacted well to greater choice and chose colour when it was available.”
Looking forward to 2011, Tony says: “It’s a safe bet that raw material prices will continue to rise - one systems company has already announced a 20% price increase and the price of oil is heading back to over $90 a barrel. How much of this will be passed down the supply chain is unknown. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see price increases of 10% or more in the first quarter. But there are opportunities. While the new build market stutters, the RMI home improvement market should grow significantly as people look to maintain or improve existing dwellings rather than move or invest.”
To read Tony’s forecast in full visit http://freefoamblog.com/2011-interesting-times/. If you disagree, please leave a comment so others can review it in 12 month’s time!