Opinion Former Article

Construction products: Construction investment running at record high levels.

Investment in the construction industry is running at a higher rate now than at anytime since 2000, according to a latest survey by the Construction Products Association. Responding to increasing concerns about product shortages, the survey, contrary to this view, has demonstrated the industry's confidence in meeting demand for construction products, backed by a 10 percent increase in new capacity since 2005 with a further 9 percent rise planned for the next two years.

Commenting on the survey, Allan Wilen, Economics Director for the Construction Products Association said; "Although there is a number of major construction projects planned over the coming years, including the 2012 Olympics, the industry does not expect problems supplying UK demand for construction products. However, what we are concerned with is the longer-term capacity constraints due to inadequate road and rail infrastructure, especially when investment in the road system is at its lowest for a quarter of a century.

"The forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review this autumn provides an opportunity for the government to reverse this lamentable position. Despite a number of recent policy announcements this summer, it is vital that the CSR sets out a clear programme of investment to enhance the countries transport infrastructure. The construction products industry is investing and planning for the future, but we need the government to play its part; let's hope their spending plans will match our commitment and confidence in the future of the UK economy."

Other conclusions from the survey include:

. Firms in the construction products industry are working at a higher level of capacity than for a number of years, but two-thirds of companies are still working below their optimum levels.

. Although there have been some instances earlier this year where a few companies in specific sectors had had difficulties supplying the UK demand for their products. These were as a result of short-term constraints, not long-term structural deficiencies in the industry.

. Companies have dealt with short-term constraints mainly by increasing efficiency and enhancing output from existing plants. In some sectors increasing imports had also been possible.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS:
The Construction Products Association represents the UK's manufacturers and suppliers of construction products, components and fittings and provides 4% of the UK's GDP. The Association acts as the voice of the construction products sector, representing the industry-wide view of its members. The sector has an annual turnover of £40 billion, accounts for 40% of total construction output and provides 20% of UK manufacturing.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Allan Wilen Economics Director
Construction Products Association
Tel : 020 7323 3770
Fax : 020 7323 0307
Mobile : 0780 829 4638
E-mail : allan.wilen@constructionproducts.org.uk

Máren Baldauf Economist
Construction Products Association
Tel : 020 7323 3770
Fax : 020 7323 0307
E-mail : maren.baldauf@constructionproducts.org.uk

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