Construction demand set to “rocket”

Grant Prior 8 years ago
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Industry experts believe construction demand is set to “rocket” following a string of positive forecasts.

The bullish prediction comes as construction buyers reported the biggest upturn in workload for six years last month.

Richard Threlfall, KPMG’s UK Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction said: “After so many years in the doldrums it is great to see further evidence of construction activity finally picking up.

“Sentiment across business has decisively shifted, with the positive outlook helping to drive higher construction output.

“It is particularly encouraging to see the improvement not only in the residential sector but in the commercial and civils sub-sectors as well.

“The only thing that is holding the industry back now is not a lack of demand, but the ability of businesses to recruit sufficient experienced staff.

“While there’s been a lot of scepticism as to how quickly the market would recover, history suggests that, once the mood changes, construction demand will rocket.

“Time to hold onto your hard hats.”

According to the latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index confidence in construction is running high after an expansion in both workloads and orders in housing and civil engineering.

Construction buyers saw workload in August rise at its fastest pace since September 2007.

And firms are also very confident about the year-ahead with around 46% of survey respondents expecting a rise in activity and only 10% a reduction.

Improved confidence fed through to job hiring, with construction employment rising for the third month running and at a solid pace.

Housing remained the strongest performing sector, with output rising at the fastest pace since June 2010. But there was also a steep rise civil engineering activity to its strongest level since September 2007.

Even previously sluggish commercial construction activity increased at the most marked pace since May 2012.

David Noble, chief executive officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said: “A new dawn is breaking in construction. The industry is leaving the dark days of recession behind.

“This new direction brings new challenges, not least the prospect of additional work and insufficient capacity to meet demand. How the sector navigates these tensions and manages the supply chain could come to define its performance over the coming months.”

 

 

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