Housing And Infrastructure Boosts UK Construction
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the UK construction sector experienced growth in the third quarter of this year, the latest results of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) UK Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey show.
The organisation revealed that 20 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a rise rather than a fall in their workloads between July and September, compared to the previous three-month period.
There were two areas in particular where chartered surveyors have experienced growth: private house building and infrastructure projects.
Infrastructure schemes were singled out as the area expected to see the greatest growth over the coming 12 months, thanks in part to large government-backed initiatives such as HS2, the Heathrow expansion and Hinkley Point C.
But even so, there were still more modest increases in the private industry and public non-housing sector. The only exception to this was in public housing, where workloads fell in the last quarter.
Jeffrey Matsu, RICS senior economist, cautioned that there will still be challenges ahead. “Recent Brexit-related indecision has added considerably to this uncertainty, but whatever the outcome, the pace of growth is expected to decelerate if only due to cyclical market conditions,” he stated.
Despite optimism in the near term, many of those questioned expect market conditions to soften in the coming 12 months.
This more positive picture of UK construction is at odds with the latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) from IHS Markit. The PMI fell in September from its August level, with many of those surveyed citing Brexit and the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU as one of the main contributing factors to weakening sentiment.
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