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CPA records construction growth in third quarter


Industry extends its run of growth to 18 quarters but weak orders weigh on the outlook

THE Construction Products Association’s Construction Trade Survey for the third quarter (Q3) of 2017 shows that despite rising costs and diverging performance across sectors, the industry extended its run of growth to 18 quarters.

The survey of main contractors, SME builders, civil engineering firms, product manufacturers and specialist contractors found that the construction supply chain reported increases in sales, output and workloads during the quarter, driven by increased demand in private housing, repair and maintenance and infrastructure.

Commenting on the survey, Rebecca Larkin, senior economist at the CPA, said: ‘This 18th consecutive quarter of growth reported by the industry stands in contrast to the construction recession in preliminary GDP data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

‘There is a clear division in fortunes across sectors, however, with weakness in the commercial and industrial sectors offset by strength in new-build private housing, a sector where demand and confidence remain supported by the Help to Buy equity loan.’

Marie-Claude Hemming, director of external affairs at The Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association (CECA), added: ‘It is good news that our members see growth in infrastructure, to the benefit of businesses and communities across the country.

‘However, uncertainty continues to act as a drag on the ability of the construction industry more generally to boost the economy. Ahead of the Autumn Budget, we are calling on the UK Government to commit to the projects outlined in the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, to secure the foundations of a strong economy, drive productivity and deliver post-Brexit growth.’

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