Government and industry must address the national shortage of building materials to reverse the decline in construction activity, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to ONS data released today on construction output.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Construction output fell in May, pointing to a fragile economic recovery for Britain’s builders. I am particularly concerned by the drop in repair, maintenance and improvement activities, given the high demand for home improvement works that builders are reporting. Action must taken to address the national building materials shortage, as this is restricting builders' ability to build back better and greener. A recent FMB survey found that 93% of builders reported material price increases in Q1 2021, which is an untenable situation. Manufacturers, merchants and builders must work together to maintain the supply of products to independent merchants so that smaller builders can continue to improve, upgrade and green the nation’s homes.”

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.