Construction forecasts bring optimism

ggfThe Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) has spoken of its ‘renewed optimism’, following the latest forecast from the Construction Products Association (CPA), which anticipates that growth in private house building, infrastructure work and commercial activity are set to drive recovery in the industry over the next four years.

With construction output expected to rise by 3.4% in 2014 and by a further 5.2% in 2015, growth is projected to continue throughout the forecast period, to 2017. Despite this, considerable uncertainties remain regarding the long term sustainability of the recovery, in the industry and wider economy, post 2015.

Nigel Rees, GGF Group chief executive, commented: “The figures from the survey make for optimistic reading as they show that construction output is expected to rise in 2014 and 2015. If the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme increases purchases, this can only benefit the glass and glazing industry. It is often found that those moving into a new property tend to consider making home improvements, with windows and doors high on their list of priorities. The survey itself anticipates this trend in consumer behaviour, with the suggestion that private housing repair, maintenance and improvement is expected to grow 3.5% in 2014 and then 4.0% per year to 2017.”

Dr Noble Francis, economics director of the association, commented: “The construction industry is in a very different place to just one year earlier, when output fell to a level 15.4% below its pre-recession peak. Since 2013 Q1, activity has picked up considerably. Initially, this was due to a rapid expansion in house building but more recently, growth in new infrastructure and a recovery in London commercial activity have supplemented further rises in private housing.”

,Giles Willson, GGF deputy chief executive and director of Technical Affairs, added: “Though this is positive for all in our industry, we should bear in mind that there is still a massive job to be done to upgrade the windows in existing building stock in the UK.”

Nigel Rees added: “We have been able to see from the FENSA installation statistics that there has been a steady improvement since April 2013 for positive percentage figures on the similar months in 2012. There is still though, a long way to go to get back to anywhere near the figures of 2007 and pre-recession. We are expecting to see this trend continue through 2014.”

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