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MPA survey shows positive trends

Nigel Jackson

Association’s third-quarter figures support GDP estimates that construction activity is starting to recover

AGGREGATES, asphalt and ready-mixed concrete sales volumes showed significant growth in the third quarter of 2013, ranging from +9% to +11%, compared with the third quarter of 2012, according the Mineral Products Association’s latest quarterly survey of construction material trends.

Moreover, the improvements of the second quarter were sustained through the third quarter, and underlying aggregates and ready-mixed concrete trends are now positive with a sharp improvement in the moving annual trends evident since the end of March.


The improvements reflect the marked increase in new house building over the past six months, although as these materials are used throughout the construction sector, the figures also indicate that general construction activity is beginning to recover.

Asphalt sales have lagged this year but, following two better quarters, are now just positive (+1%) for the year to date, although the moving annual trend is still negative following the 18% decline in markets in 2012. The figures indicate that road maintenance and construction activity remain at very low levels.

Commenting on the figures, Nigel Jackson (pictured), chief executive of the Mineral Products Association, said: ‘These are welcome figures following historically low 2012 volumes and a painful and extended period of highly depressed markets.

‘It looks like construction is turning the corner but we now need sustained and consistent improvements in overall construction output to build on this early improvement.

‘Government actions, notably the Help to Buy initiative, have helped to stimulate increased house building and positive infrastructure announcements have created the prospect of significant medium-term growth in this sector.

‘The Government now needs to sustain a relentless focus on boosting growth and competitiveness and to deliver on its infrastructure ambitions to ensure that the construction supply chain has the confidence to invest and expand.’


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