During Q3, we continued to see the ongoing challenge of high prices and low availability of materials, with fuel shortages and some very wet weather thrown in for good measure.
Like others in our industry, we found that these factors affected production output in different ways, presenting a mixed picture across the board. The commercial and non-housing repair sectors continue to struggle, while production output for infrastructure and private housing repair is significantly above levels recorded in February 2020.
However overall the ONS reports a cautiously positive outlook on the economy. Although still below pre-pandemic levels, UK GDP is continuing to rise slowly while the falling unemployment rate indicates further signs of recovery.
With the huge number of job vacancies on offer as the economy adjusts post-Covid, average weekly earnings have increased to attract and retain staff in a competitive labour market. Wages have risen by 9.7% in construction, but economists warn that eventually these costs may well find their way home to the consumer’s pocket.
Q3 also saw the publication of the Code for Construction Product Information. Developed in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, in direct response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review, the CCPI promotes the need for urgent and positive industry change.
At British Gypsum, we share the Construction Products Association’s goal to drive higher standards in the presentation of product information, and we are committed to raising the bar across our industry.
As dedicated supporters of the CCPI, we are committed to providing our customers and construction partners with a ‘golden thread’ of information to support them with complete transparency and do our part in building better. Since the first publication of our own White Book in 1972, we have been leading the way in providing clear and accurate product, system and specification information that can be relied upon, doing our part in raising industry standards further.
As we work through Q4 and into 2022 we look forward to our post-Covid recovery and the progression of a better, and safer, construction industry for everyone.