Government urged to get on with projects.

Falling aggregates and cement sales points to deeper recession

Published:  17 November, 2009

UK: Sales volumes of aggregates, cement, ready mixed concrete and asphalt fell significantly in the third quarter of 2009, according to the Mineral Products Association.

Aggregate and cement were around 20% down in the quarter, with ready mixed concrete down 26% and asphalt down 17%.

Orders for new construction work declined by 20% in the first nine months of 2009, following a 19% decline in 2008.

The view is that construction, aggregates, cement and associated markets will remain depressed for some time.

MPA director of public policy Simon van der Byl said: "The Government must use the forthcoming pre-Budget report to reverse the current policy of cutting public investment by 50%.

"Research commissioned by the UK Contractors Group and CBI has confirmed that investment in construction is very effective in stimulating further economic growth and employment, and provides significant long term social and economic benefits.

"There are huge amounts of spare resources available in the construction industry and supply chain and parts of our infrastructure with outstanding backlogs of work, such as highway maintenance. Now is the time to get on with this work."

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