Construction growth can cement a long-term recovery, says NFB

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that construction was the fastest growing sector of the economy during the third quarter of 2013, with growth 2.5% higher compared with the previous quarter, and 4.9% higher than the same time a year ago.

Whether comparing figures month on month or year on year the construction industry is helping to deliver growth to the UK economy.

Julia Evans, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders, said:

“The latest GDP figures demonstrate that recent growth is not a short-term spike but a longer term return to growth in the construction industry and the economy as a whole. Construction is playing its part in helping the economy to grow but more needs to be done to avoid an unsustainable boom.

“The NFB hopes that the government will help to foster sustainable economic growth in this sector by boosting access to finance for SME construction companies, taking further steps to reduce planning red tape and providing a much needed boost to the domestic repair and maintenance sector. Government and industry must ensure the chancellor does not bow to political pressure and cut the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) in his autumn statement.

“Everyone wants a warmer home and lower energy bills but cutting the ECO will put an end to the only major retrofit scheme making an impact on boosting construction growth. Equally, if the government wants the Green Deal to work and help cement economic recovery, it needs to act now to ensure its survival by giving the scheme a financial stimulus and taking steps to educate the public on the scheme.

“The government needs to let builders get on with what they know best – building more new schools, factories and hospitals for councils and businesses across the UK. For house builders, while the NFB welcomes moves to free up buyers to buy, it is now time to free up builders to build with clearer planning processes, better access to finance and an end to excessive regulation.”