The increase in construction output at 1.3% in September is welcome news after a slight dip in previous months, but the overall picture remains bleak for the industry as it faces soaring prices with materials and skills shortages continuing to bite, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB ) in response to latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) construction figures.
Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB said: “The 1.3% improvement in construction output in September is a positive turnaround from the fall in previous months. The 1.5% drop in overall output for Q3 2021, from Q2, signals the continued need for action to be taken to resolve building material and skills shortages. Through the FMB’s State of Trade Survey for Q3, we know that 89% of small, local builders have been forced to press pause on jobs as a result of material and labour shortages, with 97% having experienced increased material costs. The fact that we are now experiencing the strongest annual rate of construction output price growth since records began indicates the unhealthy effects of these two issues on the sector.”