Growing Pains

Added: 06/04/16 Author: Mark Tomlin

Hello, and welcome to my latest blog post on the construction industry.

This week I want to look a little more widely at our sector, and the role that it plays in the UK economy. In any industry, there’s a temptation to only focus on what it is that you do, rather than the bigger picture, and that’s as true of construction as anything else.

How many times have you heard that construction is one of the largest contributors to the UK economy? It’s a frequently touted statement and one that we would all like to believe, after all, it’s important to be proud of your work, and feeling like you’re part of something bigger certainly helps with that.

But how much of an impact do we really have on the economy as a whole? According to new figures release by the ONS which compare Q4 2015 to the pre-recession peak of mid-2008, GDP has increased by 6.8%, which is great news. Unfortunately, over the same period GDP generated by the construction industry has fallen by 4%.

On the face of it this might seem like fairly disastrous news, but looking at the figures in more depth it’s clear that construction is recovering from the second dip which it experienced in 2012, and the industry has grown by 12% during this period, and is continuing to expand.

UK, 2008 to 2015

As you can see, when compared to Production and Manufacturing, things are looking positive for Construction (though we haven’t quite met pre-recession levels) especially given the current drive to improve the country’s infrastructure and housing stock. In addition, property transactions reached over 20% year on year growth last month and new build house construction starts and completions are at their highest level since 2008, so we’re optimistic about the year ahead.

Of course, we can’t just sit back and hope to see the figures climb, and as I’ve mentioned time and time again, the key to ensuring that the industry not only retains its levels of growth but improves upon them is to reach for new heights of efficiency.