UK construction companies saw a modest increase in business activity during September representing a return to growth after two months of falling output.
But optimism for future prospects dropped to its lowest level for two years as the prospect of higher interest rates and a downturn in the wider UK economy cast a cloud on construction.
The S&P Global/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index hit 52.3 in September from 49.2 in August – above the crucial 50 no-change mark for the first time since June.
The continuing decline in permitted reserves for essential primary aggregates will need to be addresses urgently to support the British Economy over the next 15 years.
A new report by the Minerals Products Association shows that around four billion tonnes of aggregates will be needed to meet the country’s construction needs.
Demand projections for Greater Britian suggest that, by 2035 some 277 to 323 million tonnes of aggregates will need to be supplied each year.
Cumulatively, this means that 3.8 billion and 4.1 billion tonnes of aggregates will be required between 2022 and 2035m compared to a total of 3.2 billion tonnes of aggregates supplied in the previous period, between 2008 and 2021.
A two-year run of sales growth in construction product manufacturers has come to a halt.
Heavy-side material producers reported that the third quarter saw the first decline in sales since the nationwide Covid-19 lockdowns, according to the latest trade survey of Construction Products Association members.
Both heavy-side and light-side manufacturers are also now predicting a decline in sales over the next 12-months due to falling demand.
Construction enjoyed modest growth in output during August despite growing headwinds from energy and cost inflation in the economy.
Number crunchers at the Office of National Statistics also upwardly revised previous output figures for July. This moved the official figures from a 0.8% contraction in construction to a sluggish 0.1% growth for the month.
The August rise in monthly output came solely from an 1.9% increase in new work, with repairs and maintenance falling 0.2% on the month.