Wienerberger Comment: Q3 2021

As we enter the final few months of 2021, it is useful to reflect on the year so far, while also looking to the future of the industry and our business.

Many in our sector have performed beyond expectations and have bounced back well from last year, despite a variety of challenges. However, the construction industry is often a reliable indicator for wider economic performance, and we’ll enter the fourth quarter with a note of caution.

According to the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) of industry activity, post-lockdown growth in the construction sector fell to its slowest for eight months in September. This trend reflected in the high-street where retail sales dipped 0.2% in September. This was the fifth monthly fall in a row.

Business confidence is holding up according to ONS and CBI surveys, but consumer confidence, captured by GfK in its Consumer Confidence Index, was -17 in October 2021, down four points from -13 in September to its lowest level since February. These will be key areas to keep an eye on during 2022.

During the final quarter, Glasgow will have hosted the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). As a company we’ve been a signatory to the UN Global Compact since 2003, which ensures that we’re focused on driving action and support of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

We’ve strengthened this commitment and launched our ‘Let’s Build Beyond’ sustainability strategy that ensures our organisation and stakeholders in the UK can see a path to a more sustainable future for construction as we head into 2022.

While we have been busy doing our bit for the planet, it’s good to know that we are not alone. We are seeing many within construction starting to take positive steps in the right direction to becoming more sustainable. Over time, all of these small steps will get bigger, and they will no doubt combine to bring about significant momentum in our industry and for the environment.

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