Construction input needed for Brexit preparations, says FMB

The FMB's Brian Berry

Construction should not be overlooked by the government in no-deal Brexit preparation says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the construction PMI data published today showing that output in September declined at second-sharpest pace since 2009. The fall in staffing levels was the sixth in as many months and the strongest since the end of 2010.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “The construction industry accounts for 7% of the UK’s GDP and over three million jobs. Today’s figures, which show the second-sharpest fall in output since 2009 and staffing levels since 2010, should be a concern for us all. With ambitious infrastructure and house building targets, the government can’t afford to lose any more capacity in this industry.”

Berry continued: “The PMI data picks up on material shortages and bottlenecks already, even before leaving the EU, and this is likely to be a major concern in the event of a no-deal. I urge the government to work with the industry to ensure that key construction products, critical to the building work this country needs, such as timber, are not held up at ports across the country in a no-deal scenario.”

Berry concluded: “It is encouraging to see the industry is more optimistic for the next 12 months and I hope that if the government is able to secure a good exit deal with the EU, then client confidence will rebound, and the industry will start growing again.”