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ONS comment: "Industry needs to pull together" to stop long term decline

Fraser Johns, finance director at Beard, said: “With the reduction in output in August marking the first quarterly decline since July 2020, this is clearly not just a minor blip, and marks a real challenge for the construction industry to overcome.

“A lot has been made of the supply chain issues and subsequent price rises and rightly so. Client confidence has certainly been impacted, with inflationary price pressures and supply shortages at the root of hesitancy to green light projects in the current environment.

“After the sharp recovery in the past year, the industry needs to pull together to ensure this doesn’t become a long-term decline. To overcome it, contractors must be proactive, and regular collaboration with suppliers is fundamental to all projects.

“Multi-step procurement processes may become the norm, and this should help absorb the extended lead-in times for certain materials, and mitigate the risk of disruption to projects on the ground.

“Even with these precautions in place, it looks like the road to recovery will be a difficult one until the industry can solve the shortages issue.”

Published: 13 October 2021