The increase in construction output at 1.3% in September is welcome news after a slight dip in previous months, but the overall picture remains bleak for the industry as it faces soaring prices with materials and skills shortages continuing to bite, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) construction figures.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB said: “The 1.3% improvement in construction output in September is a positive turnaround from the fall in previous months. The 1.5% drop in overall output for Q3 2021, from Q2, signals the continued need for action to be taken to resolve building material and skills shortages. Through the FMB’s State of Trade Survey for Q3, we know that 89% of small, local builders have been forced to press pause on jobs as a result of material and labour shortages, with 97% having experienced increased material costs. The fact that we are now experiencing the strongest annual rate of construction output price growth since records began indicates the unhealthy effects of these two issues on the sector.”

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.