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Commercial building to drive construction sector

Commercial building to drive construction sector
Commercial building activity has been highlighted as a driving force behind the construction sector over the coming years.

The Construction Products Association's (CPA) latest forecast has had to be revised as officials believe there could be a spike in business thanks to a growth in house building, infrastructure work and commercial activity over the next four years. The CPA expects construction output to grow by 3.4 per cent in 2014 and then by a further 5.2 per cent in 2015. This trend is thought to continue through to 2017.

Officials at the CPA did provide a note of caution as there are concerns over the long-term sustainability of the recovery in the industry and wider economy once 2015 passes by. However, the CPA believes that there is a lot of mileage in the housing and commercial sector, which can promote growth over the coming years.

The UK's construction industry experienced a strong end to 2013 with a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) noting that output had grown by 2.2 per cent over the course of October compared to September. One of the driving forces behind these figures was the housing market which was helped by the introduction of government schemes such as Help to Buy, which allow first-time buyers get that initial foot on the property ladder.

Speaking about the latest CPA predictions, Dr Noble Francis, economics director of the organisation, said: "The construction industry is in a very different place to just one year earlier, when output fell to a level 15.4 per cent below its pre-recession peak. Since 2013 Q1, activity has picked up considerably.

"Initially this was due to a rapid expansion in house building but more recently growth in new infrastructure and a recovery in London commercial activity have supplemented further rises in private housing."

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Date: 13/01/2014 16:40:00

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