Construction input needed for Brexit preparations, says FMB

CONSTRUCTION should not be overlooked by the Government in no-deal Brexit preparation says the Federation of Master Builders in response to the construction PMI data published today showing that output in September declined at second-sharpest pace since 2009.

The fall in staffing levels was the sixth in as many months and the strongest since the end of 2010.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “The construction industry accounts for seven per cent of the UK’s GDP and over three million jobs. Today’s figures, which show the second-sharpest fall in output since 2009 and staffing levels since 2010, should be a concern for us all. With ambitious infrastructure and house building targets, the Government can’t afford to lose any more capacity in this industry.”

“The PMI data picks up on material shortages and bottlenecks already, even before leaving the EU, and this is likely to be a major concern in the event of a no-deal. I urge the Government to work with the industry to ensure that key construction products, critical to the building work this country needs, such as timber, are not held up at ports across the country in a no-deal scenario.” 

Berry concluded: “It is encouraging to see the industry is more optimistic for the next 12 months and I hope that if the Government is able to secure a good exit deal with the EU, then client confidence will rebound, and the industry will start growing again.”

www.fmb.org.uk

'New PM must intervene as construction output flatlines', warns FMB

CONSTRUCTION leaders are calling on the new Prime Minister to stimulate construction and house building for the benefit of the wider economy as the latest statistics show that the sector is flatlining, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). 

Commenting on the latest construction output statistics from the Office for National Statistics, which show that construction output growth in Great Britain was flat (0.0%) in the three-month on three-months to May 2019, Sarah McMonagle, Director of Communications at the FMB, said: “Alarm bells will be ringing in the ears of the two candidates vying to be Prime Minister, with these latest stats showing that the construction sector is at a standstill.

"Whoever wins the race for PM, I want to see that person take decisive action in their first days in office by intervening to stimulate our waning sector, which is so vital to the health of the wider economy. Indeed, without it, our country’s house building aspirations will be impossible to deliver.”

McMonagle concluded: “The poor performance of the construction sector over the past few months was driven partly by a drop in activity in the repair and maintenance sector. As you would expect, this part of the construction industry is particularly vulnerable to dips in consumer confidence, which the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit continues to perpetuate.

"There would be no better way to encourage homeowners to commission building projects in the second half of this year than by slashing VAT on housing repair, maintenance and improvement from 20% to 5%.

"Furthermore, when we asked our members how the next PM could best prevent an economic downturn, almost 90% felt this was the most effective way to achieve it.”

www.fmb.org.uk

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