Work for builders in the repair, maintenance and improvement sector remains healthy with a 5% increase in the three months to April 2021, but the national shortage of construction materials risks undermining builders’ ability to build, says the Federation of Master Builders in response to ONS construction output data released today.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “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.”

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. 


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