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Looking forward

It is not given to us to peer into the mysteries of the future.

Well, here we are again, at the start of another new year.

Happy New Year!

What can we expect from 2015?

In some ways it doesn’t seem that long since I was asking the same question of 2014, in other ways it seems an age ago – far longer than a simple 12 months.

This time last year we were wet. Very, very wet (apart from those of us smug and sensible enough to live on a hill!). It started raining in October 2013 and it didn’t seem to stop until March 2014. The devastation that the winter floods caused has, in many cases still be be sorted. So that’s good news for anyone involved in the RMI sector near them, or at least it will be once the insurance claims are settled.

Another downside to last years floods was the backlog of work it caused – no good trying to build foundations if the holes just get filed up with rain the minute your back’s turned for a cuppa. Consequently, the backlog, once the rains had dried up, then had implications for workloads and, in particular, supply of products.

Heavyside suppliers have been working like crazy, all through 2014 to try and address the supply of materials shortage and it is improving. However – as I know only too well on my own project – it’s by no means sorted. One merchant was bemoaning the situation in his particular area of the country the other day. He said there are loads of fabulous period properties just waiting for extensions and refubishments and he’s having to pass up all the jobs because he can’t get the right bricks at the right time for his customers.

In 2015, this is likely to get better, but slowly.

What else is 2015 likely to bring? Well, with the General Election only four pay-days away, lots of promises, lots of scaremongering and a good deal of uncertainty. The recovery hasn’t gone quite as smoothly as Osborne and Cameron had hoped and there’s only so long they can go on blaming the previous incumbents.

Any promises made by Osborne in the Budget, in addition to those made in the Autumn Statement, will be made with the voting public firmly in mind. As a result, none of us will be really sure what will get this year, apart from more uncertainty.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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