Andy Williamson: The vote to leave Europe surprised most of us. Businesses need to be flexible to change.

Andy Williamson, Group Managing Director IKO plc is BMBI’s Expert for Roofing Products

The vote to leave Europe surprised most of us, and threw up an array of questions and concerns. The uncertain times ahead means businesses need to be flexible to change.

In the short term, products we buy from Europe, finished goods and raw materials including oil, will be more expensive because of a weakened pound. But that is an opportunity for British manufacturers. Made-in-Britain products will now be more competitive enabling them to recapture ground lost to imported building products, including roofing, over the last 12-18 months.

In the medium to long term we still have a housing shortage to address, and RMI will still need doing. Major investment projects are likely to be more of an issue, and we’ll see inflationary pressure. On the flip side there will be new opportunities for UK manufacturers and exports.

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Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.