UK construction sector weakest in four years

Official figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the UK construction industry performed at its weakest in four years in the first three months after June's vote to leave the European Union.

Output in the construction industry, which makes up approximately six per cent of the economy, was estimated to have decreased by 1.1 per cent compared with the second quarter (Apr to June) 2016.

"Construction output has remained broadly flat in the last year, both before and after the recent referendum," said ONS statistician Kate Davies.

House building was flat in the third quarter with a second consecutive quarter of decline, showing that the UK building sector "is effectively in recession", according to IHS Global Insight chief UK and European economist Howard Archer.

Adding to this, a survey conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that the significant shortage of available housing accelerated price growth last month to its highest pace since April.

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: "The dire shortage of available housing across the UK is continuing to push prices upwards, regardless of the uncertainty linked to the on-going discussions surrounding Brexit.

"We are only weeks away from the Autumn Statement and it will be interesting to see what measures – if any – the Chancellor will put in place to increase housing supply and create a more affordable market."

In an acknowledgement by ministers that measures need to be taken to encourage the construction of new homes, Chancellor Phillip Hammond has already announced a £5 billion house building stimulus package, with additional measures set to be announced in the Autumn Statement.

At Beavis Morgan, we work with a number of construction businesses, helping them with strategic planning, business turnaround and improving business performance for the future.

Through our partner businesses, BM Structured Finance and BM Advisory, we are able to help with sourcing and restructuring debt finance for SME businesses, as well as assisting with resolving issues which can impact on business performance and success, and finding innovative solutions for businesses and individuals in distress.

For further information about how we can help you and your business, contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.