The government must bring an end to the threat of ‘no deal’ and give clarity to UK businesses by securing a new deal with the EU, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), in response to the Construction PMI data released today. The data shows construction output has contracted again in August for the fourth month in a row, and new orders fell at the fastest pace for over ten years.
Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “A sustained decline in construction output risks small firms leaving construction altogether, as they struggle to absorb higher costs in an industry notorious for tight margins. If we want local builders to deliver the high-quality homes our country needs, to upgrade people’s homes to modern standards and to form the supply chain for key national infrastructure projects that are essential to helping our economy move forward, then we certainly can’t afford for building companies to go to the wall due to uncertainty. The government must secure a new deal with the EU which Parliament can accept to deliver certainty, and give an injection of confidence to the sector.”
Berry concluded: “Research conducted by the FMB in July found that more than half of small construction companies believe that leaving the EU without a deal would cause material prices to sky-rocket, and just under a third believe it would lead to lower workloads. Construction is like a mirror for the wider economy, as it’s highly sensitive to market confidence. What we’re looking at currently is highly concerning. The government must negotiate a deal that Parliament can pass in order to avoid a recession.”