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Liam-Drawwater

Danger For Construction Growth

Skills and material shortages likely cause of the surprise drop in UK’s construction output

A report has pointed out that shortages of skilled staff and materials are likely to have contributed to the unexpected drop in construction activity last month

The conclusion comes from construction and property consultancy, Tuffin Ferraby Taylor (TFT). The UK’s commercial construction activity growth unexpectedly slowed to a seven-month low in May, while the index of housing activity dropped from 63.9 to 62.7, according to Markit Economics. Sub-contractor availability fell at the fastest pace since August 1997, accompanied by contractor’s prices rising at record rates.

However, higher construction output and new work has contributed to a rise in staff levels in the sector for 12 successive months to May.

“The pause in growth of commercial construction activity is likely to be a result of staff and materials shortages,” explained Liam Drawwater, Head of TFT’s Cost Consultancy Division. “Although construction is firmly on the mend in the UK, we’re still suffering from the aftershocks of the financial crash of 2008, which resulted in skilled labour being lost from the industry and construction materials manufacturers closing or mothballing plant.”

Mr Drawwater believed that the skills shortage has meant contractors have had difficulty keeping pace with rising demand, which has had an adverse impact on construction growth as well as pushing contract prices upwards. However, he expected that employment in the sector would continue to increase in-line with a widening of the recovery in construction.

For further information, visit the website: www.tftconsultants.com

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