BBC News Live

Our Director sharing views of the construction industry

Our Director, Annie Summun, all ‘micro phoned’ up and ready to go for the BBC Business News this morning.

Representing the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), Annie was live on BBC News to comment on the latest PMI figures released this morning. The figures fell below market expectations and were the first drop since March 2018.

Brexit is, of course, creating business uncertainties and there are rising costs in materials and a skills shortage which have all impacted on the new statistics.

Annie spoke from the perspective of the small and medium sized construction companies on the increasing cost of materials, due to the devaluation of sterling since the referendum vote. Where larger companies have the ability to stock pile materials, such as timber products from the EU, this is not the case for the small builder and there is uncertainty about the possible introduction of tariffs which will only increase costs.

Some skills, such as carpenters and bricklayers, are especially in short supply causing concerns and increasing costs for some construction companies.

However, the FMB State of Trade Survey for the quarter ending December 2018 had shown that Master Builders are reporting positive growth in the residential sector for the 23rd consecutive quarter. So, our sector is more buoyant, but a lot will depend on the outcome of Brexit and it will be interesting to see the results from the next FMB State of Trade Survey.