The recovery in construction output to its highest level since September 2019 risks being undermined by the invasion of Ukraine and the impact this is having on the supply of materials and rising costs, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the publication of the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) construction output data.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “Construction output is now at its highest level since September 2019, which is very positive news following an extremely difficult two years for builders. Interestingly, repair, maintenance and improvement projects were responsible for much of the increased output in January. The impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is likely to exacerbate the current challenges around the cost and procurement of building materials, with oil, steel, aluminium, timber, and copper set to be some of the worst affected materials.”
Berry continued: “At a time when costs are surging, the situation puts builders in the unenviable position of having to raise costs for a customer base that is tightening its belts. To counter this, the FMB is advocating that the Government bring forward policy interventions at the upcoming Spring Statement that can ease the effects of this increase. In particular, there is a growing need for a National Retrofit Strategy and a cut in VAT on all energy efficient home improvements. These policies would provide an economic boost for local builders, reduce consumers’ vulnerability to energy shocks and further the UK on its journey to net zero.”
Notes to editors
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is the largest trade association in the UK construction industry representing thousands of firms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit making, lobbying for members’ interests at both the national and local level.
The FMB is a source of knowledge, professional advice and support for its members, providing a range of modern and relevant business building services to help them succeed. The FMB is committed to raising quality in the construction industry and offers a free Find a Builder service to consumers.