The Scaffolding Association – Latest construction output statistics fall to lowest level since February.

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Press Release

Published: October 14, 2021

Latest data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show that construction output dropped again in August and to its lowest level since February.

Since April this year when figures had recovered to near normal pre-pandemic levels, monthly output has been declining gradually, except for June which saw a marginal increase.

The latest ONS numbers, which are published monthly, show that August output fell by 0.2% to £14,243m – a reduction of £30m in volume terms with the level of output 1.5% (£214m) below its pre-pandemic (February 2020) level.

Despite this further decline in output, building trades do appear buoyant and inundated with work enquiries. However, the shortage of materials caused by delays in manufacturing and supply chain challenges, which are widely being blamed on the pandemic and Brexit, mean that current demand cannot be fulfilled.

In September, The Department for Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), published their building materials and components statistics which showed that building material costs for work carried out in August 2021 increased by 2.8% compared with July 2021 and 23.5% compared with August 2020.

The report also highlighted astronomical year-on-year increases for imported plywood (78.4%), fabricated structural steel (74.8%), and imported sawn or planed wood (74.0%).

Robert Candy, Chief Executive of the Scaffolding Association said “Meeting demand is a huge problem for the construction industry right now with product availability, rising costs of materials and supply chain issues clearly all having an impact”.

He added “The latest report from BEIS demonstrates how unsustainable the current situation is but that there is no clear end in sight”.

Notes for editors

The Scaffolding Association is the UK’s largest dedicated trade association representing the Scaffolding and Access industry.

The construction sector employs 2.7millon people, contributes over £100bn to the UK economy which is 7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Press Contact: Chris Seaton – [email protected] or 07979 531464