Construction Work Rose By 2.8% In January
Workers in the construction industry, including those handling fibre cement roofing sheets, will be pleased to hear construction output rose in January 2019.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed all-work series grew on a month-on-month basis earlier this year, despite a 2.8 per cent drop in December 2018.
While this is a positive step in the right direction for the construction industry, the statistics also revealed less favourable three-month on three-month figures.
It showed construction output had declined by 0.6 per cent in three-month on three-month all-work series in January, while new orders dropped by 1.9 per cent in the last quarter of 2018 compared with the previous three-month period.
The decline in output is likely to have been due to a 2.3 per cent fall in the all repair and maintenance series, despite a 0.3 per cent increase in the all-new work series.
Repair and maintenance work is thought to have slowed down thanks to a decline in work in the non-housing and the private housing sectors.
One area of the country that is faring well with regards to their construction work is Leeds.
A recent Deloitte Crane Survey found there were 21 new construction starts in the northern city last year, while the number of residential properties and office spaces under construction was at its highest level since 2007.
The Business Desk reported the health and education sectors, as well as purpose-built student accommodation is driving this growth, creating a construction boom in the city.
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Construction firms refusing to sign charter for sustainable British steel
Steel reinforcement mesh suppliers may well find that their businesses are affected by the refusal of some larger construction companies to sign the Charter for Sustainable British Steel, which is backed by both Tory and Labour MPs.
The Charter calls on companies to use British-made steel whenever they can, but six firms – Wates, Willmott Dixon, BAM Construction, Kier, Mace and Interserve – have yet to sign up, according to the Daily Mirror, which is also supporting the scheme.
A Save Our Steel campaign is also running at the moment, calling for cuts in energy bills and business rates for steel plants, as well as encouraging UK companies to buy British and blocking cheap exports from China.
When asked about the Charter, parent company of BAM Construction BAM Nuttall said the firm was “committed to a local supply chain wherever possible”, although it did add: “The way [the Charter] is currently worded, we wouldn’t be able to stick to it.”
And a spokesman from Mace said: “Mace promotes the use of high quality British steel and local procurement whenever possible. We always aim to use UK steel in the first instance, supply permitting.”
Earlier this month (January 18th), Tata Steel confirmed that it would be making huge job cuts across its numerous sites in the UK after European steel prices dropped because of cheap imports from countries like China.
It was revealed that 1,050 jobs would go at Port Talbot, Hartlepool, Corby and Trostre. The business will now be looking at how more support to local communities can be offered, while also stimulating job creation in the regions affected.