The latest Construction Industry Survey has been published by the Construction Products Association.It reveals that the industry is enjoying its third consecutive year of growth. However, concerns have also been raised regarding a potential skills shortage, along with rising wages. Overall, 17 per cent of building companies said that their orders had grown over the last quarter.Francis Noble, economics director at the Construction Products Association, said: “Firms across the whole construction supply chain, including building contractors, SMEs, specialist contractors, civil engineers and product manufacturers all reported rises in output during Q2.“Continuing the trend since recovery emerged in mid-2013, growth in output was led by the private housing sector, in which 43 per cent of firms, on balance, reported a rise in output.”He also explained that 18 per cent of private commercial firms had reported a rise in work volumes over the same period. In addition to this, 23 per cent of SMEs and 43 per cent of specialist construction companies also experienced a growth in demand over Q2 of 2015. Only nine per cent reported that orders had been lower over the second quarter.However, public housing orders had dropped, according to 44 per cent of those surveyed. Another concern is that 57 per cent of all companies noted the rising costs of labour could pose problems in the future.In terms of the suggested skills shortage, 50 per cent of companies said that they had struggled to hire enough carpenters. A further 49 per cent reported similar problems with bricklayers and 45 per cent with plasterers. Industry experts warned that these problems would need to be tackled before builders could feel confident about continuing growth.This appears to go against the most recent REC/KPMG jobs survey, as well as the monthly Purchasing Managers Index, which both found that demand for labour in the construction sector was beginning to ease, which should have curtailed excessive wage rises. However, the consistent growth in output across the industry suggests that the overall picture ahead is positive, provided that the problems discussed are properly remedied.
Construction industry continues to grow
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