UK construction grows again

30 October 2015

Activity in UK construction has risen for a tenth consecutive quarter, according to a survey by Construction Products Association.

Growth was reported by companies across all areas of the industry, from building contractors and SME builders, to civil engineers and product manufacturers.

However, activity is believed to be slowing down, despite the quarterly rise.

The survey shows that 4% of building contractors, on balance, reported that construction output rose in the third quarter of 2015, compared with a year ago. In the first and second quarters, these balances were 50% and 17%, respectively.

The survey also showed that 25% of SME contractors reported increased workloads in the third quarter compared to three months earlier, while public housing orders decreased, according to 42% of building contractors.

Noble Francis, economics director, Construction Products Association, said, “Firms across the whole construction supply chain reported rises in output during the third quarter. Although activity appears to have slowed down, SMEs, civil engineering firms and product manufacturers remain optimistic about the near-term outlook.

“On the downside, building contractors reported an across-the-board decrease in new orders during the quarter, particularly in the public housing sector.”

Francis added, “A downturn in public housing work is was expected, given the proposed changes to housing benefit, Right to Buy and social rent cuts in the July Budget.

“Of more concern is the fall in new orders in private housing and commercial, which have driven the construction recovery over the last two years.”

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