Report confirms cooling of UK construction industry

Builders’ merchants faced a slower period at the tail end of 2014.

24th February 2015

The first half of 2014 saw the rapid growth of the UK construction industry, to the benefit of many builders’ merchants and timber merchants across the country. However, in recent months the growth has become rather more muted, and the latest release of construction output figures appears to confirm this.

A new report from Barbour showed that the construction industry had grown by 2.8% in 2014, yet this increase pales in comparison with the 25.2% increase in 2013 – admittedly from a very low base. The rise in output was even greater between 2011 and 2012’s figures, with the latter year’s output 29.1% higher than in 2011.

These percentages don’t tell the whole story – given the dire state of the industry in 2011 – but the official output figures back up the assertion that growth in the construction industry is slowing down. The ONS found that construction output had actually fallen by 2% between October and November 2014.

Lead economist for Barbour, Michael Dall, discussed the main reasons for the cool-down:

‘Buoyancy in the residential sector helped to drive growth in 2013. Our reliance on this sector meant that as the rate of growth slowed in housing in 2014, it had a significant impact on the industry’s UK-wide performance. A decline in the infrastructure sector is also having a substantial effect.’

Dall also mentioned the uncertainty generated by the general election. Builders’ merchants must learn to adapt to these changing market conditions and find new avenues for growth in 2015 and beyond.

Builders’ merchant software can assist you with these goals. Take a look at the many features of Integrity’s software for builders’ merchants

Tagged under: Construction industry, builders’ merchant software, software for builders’ merchants

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