Construction Sector Showing Signs Of Picking Up

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Construction Sector Showing Signs Of Picking Up

Construction Sector Showing Signs Of Picking Up

Although there has been much in the news lately about a slump in the construction industry, the latest figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) appears to suggest that things are starting to improve.

The RICS quarterly Infrastructure and Construction Market Survey for the second quarter of the year found that output growth is accelerating as we move further into 2019.

According to the research, 16 per cent more respondents said they’d seen an increase in construction workloads in the three months from April to June compared to the first three months of the year, when the net balance on the index stood at nine per cent.

The sector that reported the greatest growth was public sector housing, with workloads in this area climbing from six per cent at the start of the year to 26 per cent in the last quarter.

But it’s still infrastructure and private housing that are anticipating the greatest levels of work in the coming months. The RICS data found that 25 per cent more surveyors in the infrastructure sector expect workloads to increase rather than decline. In private housing this figure was 27 per cent.

RICS senior economist Jeffrey Matsu said that firms are “fed up” with the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

“After a prolonged period of delays and underinvestment, businesses now appear to be fed up and are proceeding cautiously with new hiring and intentions to invest,” he asserted.

However, he also pointed out that this doesn’t necessarily mean there will be continued growth within the construction sector. “With the range of possible outcomes related to Brexit as wide as ever, we expect to see continued volatility in construction output data but in the meanwhile see workload activity stabilising,” Mr Matsu added.

Infrastructure, with large projects such as HS2 and Hinkley Point C on the cards, is the area of construction that appears like it will fare the best in the coming months. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the energy, rail and communication sub-sectors are expected to do best.

The Yorkshire Post reported that Yorkshire is one of the regions where construction professionals are moderately positive about the future.

According to the newspaper, firms in the region are expecting to work on a range of new projects in the coming months, particularly in infrastructure.

Within Yorkshire, more than 42 per cent of construction professionals reported a rise in their private housing workloads during the second quarter of the year, while over one-fifth also saw an increase in public housing projects in the same period.

What’s more, 40 per cent of construction professionals in Yorkshire and Humber expect to see their workloads increase as we move through 2019.

The signs that those in the construction industry are seeing work coming in despite the continued Brexit uncertainty will no doubt be a relief to contractors as well as construction companies.

It could mean there’s more work for scaffolding contractors in York and elsewhere in the region as 2019 progresses, especially if more firms decide to proceed with their plans regardless of the political landscape.