Latest ONS Construction data shows output fell in April 2021 on the back of a particularly strong increase in March, but FMB warns “the national shortage of construction materials is undermining builders’ ability to build.”
The latest ONS Construction figures show that construction output fell 2.0% in April 2021, but this was on the back of a particularly strong increase of 5.8% in March, and output now stands slightly above its pre-pandemic February 2020 level.
Commenting on the recent data, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) picked up on the “healthy” repair, maintenance and improvement sector figures, but said “the national shortage of construction materials” is impacting and “undermining builders’ ability to build.”
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, explained: “That construction output in April was 0.3% above its pre-pandemic levels points to encouraging signs for the industry’s recovery. However, it’s clear that the shortage of construction materials, and rising prices, are impacting small builders most severely and threatens many businesses’ survival as we emerge from lockdown.
“The latest FMB State of Trade data that shows 93% of builders reported material price increases in Q1 of this year. Against the backdrop of high levels of inquiries for building work, it’s imperative that smaller businesses have the same access to materials as the larger firms during these difficult times.”