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 December edition of BEIS’ construction update include the latest BMBI figures, which showed that value sales in September were up 0.4% compared with the same period in 2018. Total sales in Q3 2019 fell by 0.8% by value compared with the same period in 2018, despite there being one additional trading day. This was the second consecutive quarter of decline, following a fall of 1.2% in Q2.
The Office for National Statistics’ figures showed that construction output decreased by 0.3% in the three months to October 2019, compared with the previous three-month period; driven by a fall of 1.4% in repair and maintenance, with a smaller positive contribution from 0.3% growth in new work. There was a decline of 3.6% in private housing repair and maintenance. In the monthly series, construction output decreased by 2.3% in October 2019 – the largest monthly fall since January 2018.
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 October 2019 was 1.0%, up from 0.8% in September. 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 9.9% compared with October 2018. The biggest decrease was for imported plywood which fell by 18.6% over the same period.
Moving onto indicators for November, IHS Markit CIPS’ latest construction purchasing managers index showed that construction sector PMI in the UK rose in November to 45.3, up from 44.2 in October but still below the 50.0 no change threshold. Overall volumes of work fell for the seventh consecutive month, and a decrease was recorded across all three categories of activity. Civil engineering was the worst-performing category, followed by commercial building.
The construction update report from BEIS is available for download below, or on the Construction Leadership Council’s website.
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.