November monthly construction statistics update from BEIS

The latest Monthly Construction Update from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which continues to name the Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) as one its sources, is now available.

Highlights from the November edition of BEIS’ construction update include the latest BMBI figures, which showed that value sales in August were down 5.6% in value compared with August 2018. In the monthly comparison, sales in August were down 11.4% compared with July 2019, but much of this decrease can be attributed to a trading day difference of 2 days. Adjusted for trading days, total sales fell 2.9%.

The Office for National Statistics’ figures showed that construction output in September 2019 increased by 0.6% in Quarter 3; driven by a rise in new work of 1.4% but offset slightly by a fall in total repair and maintenance of 0.8%. There was a decline of 3.0% in private housing repair and maintenance. In the monthly series, construction output decreased by 0.2% in September 2019.

Also included in the construction update is the latest edition of the Monthly Statistics of Building Materials and Components, which is published by BEIS. This showed that annual materials price inflation in September 2019 was 0.8%, down from 1.7% in August. Prices for all types of construction have increased steadily since early 2016 but have started to fall in recent months. The biggest price increase was for taps and valves for sanitaryware, which rose by 11.8% compared with September 2018. The biggest decrease was for imported plywood which fell by 19.6% over the same period.

Moving onto indicators for October, IHS Markit CIPS’ latest construction purchasing managers index showed that construction sector PMI in the UK rose in October to 44.2, up from 43.3 in September but still below the 50.0 no change treshold. Overall volumes of work fell for the sixth consecutive month and a decrease was recorded across all three categories of activity. Civil engineering was the worst-performing category, falling at the fastest pace since October 2009, while residential activity also fell and saw the greatest drop in over three years. Commercial construction fell for the tenth month running but at a slower rate than previously.

The construction update report from BEIS is available for download below, or on the Construction Leadership Council’s website.

Download Construction Update Report

BMBI, a brand of the BMF, is the most reliable source of data for the RMI market. It reports on merchants’ sales to builders and other trades using data from over 80% of generalist builders’ merchants, by value. The merchants provide sales data to GfK’s ground-breaking Builders Merchant Panel and MRA Research uses this data to produce monthly and quarterly reports. Leading industry experts are also a key part of the Index, speaking for their markets, explaining trends and adding context to the data.

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