The National Federation of Builders (NFB) strongly welcomes news that the UK economy returned to pre-crisis levels in Q2 2014, with overall GDP rising 0.8% quarter on quarter. However, construction fell by 0.5% over the same period and in terms of economic output remains around 12% lower than before the crisis.
The industry can take some comfort in the fact that output has increased 4.2% year-on-year. In the latest state of trade survey, NFB members have reported an increase in output compared with a year ago. Despite this, there is a cautious awareness that a longer term approach must be taken in order to mitigate the risk of such a damaging crisis happening again.
As we move towards the 2015 general election, the NFB is calling for the next government to prioritise long-term investment and finance for the industry as a key priority for stable industry growth. By encouraging institutional investment into construction and development we can help to avoid the damage of short-term economic cycles and better forecast for materials and labour.
Commenting on the figures, NFB chief executive Richard Beresford said:
“The Q2 GDP figures reflect the fragility of the economic recovery and the need to look to longer term solutions to avoid a repeat of the recent crisis. The NFB will continue to work with government on creating a vision for the industry in 2025 through the industrial strategy for construction as well as through regular engagement with central and local government.”
“The NFB’s vision for construction is for locally driven growth, supported by long-term investment. To make this happen, the industry and policy makers must continue to work together to develop a coherent vision for the future of construction, supported by policies that enable long-term growth and investment to take place.”