BEIS figures show a slow in sales but hike in prices for the industry

Published:  06 June, 2018

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has released its figures for building materials and components in 2018, reporting construction industry sales have decreased but prices for materials have increased.

It showed that the prices of construction materials for ‘all work’ rose by 4.6% from April 2018 to April 2018, and by 0.1% from March 2018 to April 2018. Specifically: repair and maintenance held the highest rate of price increase.

The top three materials in terms of price hikes in the last year were concrete reinforcing bars, imported plywood, and imported sawn or planed wood. The three materials with the biggest decrease in prices were lighting equipment for roads, other builders’ ironmongery, and sand and gravel.

Deliveries of bricks decreased by 4.8% in April 2018 compared to April 2017, but actually increased by 1% in April 2018 compared to the previous month. Similarly, deliveries of concrete blocks decreased by 8.6% in April 2018 compared to April 2017, but increased by 2.8% in April 2018 compared to the previous month. Sales of sand and gravel decreased 10.1% in Quarter 1 2018 compared to Quarter 4 2017, and sales of concrete blocks decreased by 8.6% in April 2018 compared to April 2017.

Imports of construction materials increased by £313 million in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the previous quarter, an increase of 7.53%. %. Exports of construction materials increased in the first quarter of 2018 by £7 million, a 0.4% increase.

Construction output continued its recent decline, falling by 2.7% in March 2018. It is thought that the unseasonably difficult weather conditions the country experienced at this time is the key factor that caused this. Following several months of consistently strong growth, private housing also experienced a slowdown in March 2018, contracting by 1.6%.

Experian predicts an increase in construction sector output by an average of 1.1%; by 0.2% in 2018, by 1.2% in 2019 and 2.0% in 2020, a slow but eventual rise in private and public, a grow in the infrastructure sector by 5% in 2018, 11% in 2019 and 4% in 2020, and a decrease in private commercial building by 7% in 2018, 6% in 2019, but then an increase of 1% in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Construction Products Association also predicts growth for the construction sector to increase by 0.1% in 2018, with construction activity during 2018 expected to remain flat. It forecasts construction output to rise 2.7% in 2019 and 1.9% in 2020, due to infrastructure projects driving industry activity.

You can read all the statistics and a full breakdown of the figures here.

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