Construction industry activity to rise this year

The latest Construction Trade Survey reports that construction activity rose for the seventh consecutive quarter in the fourth quarter of 2014. Firms across construction, from the largest contractors to SMEs, product manufacturers and civil engineers reported output growth in Q4, with further growth expected in 2015.

Commenting on the survey, Dr Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association, said:

“Another quarter of growth confirms the construction industry’s strongest performance in six and a half years. Activity rose in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier according to 44% of contractors, on balance, although this moderated from 60% reported in Q3.

“Increased activity was led by the private housing sector, in which 53% of firms, on balance, reported a rise in output. Output was also driven by private commercial, the largest construction sector, where 40% of firms on balance reported rising volumes of offices and retail work.

“Looking forward, contractors expect continued strength in private housing and commercial this year, boosted by public non-housing, as a stream of work on the Priority School Building Programme gets underway.”

Stephen Ratcliffe, director of UKCG, the association for contractors and their supply chain partners operating in the UK, said,

“Recovery in construction is good news for everyone in the industry.  Hopefully, possible political changes in the UK and economic uncertainty in the Eurozone will not damage the industry’s growth prospects. Cost pressures continue to be a worry, largely reflecting skills shortages.  That is why UKCG members are focussing their activities on attracting new people into construction.”

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