New figures from the Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) have provided further evidence that the UK construction industry is yet to feel any negative impact from decision to leave the European Union.
The figures show builders merchant sales up by 13.1%, with heavy building materials up by 14.1% and timber and joinery products up 11.8%. Overall like-for-like sales (allowing for two extra trading days) were up 2.8%. Year to date sales grew 5.4%.
The BMBI is produced for the Builders Merchants Federation, which represents 560 merchant and supplier companies whom together have combined sales of over £22bn.
The BMF’s 300 plus merchants members operate around 4500 branches across the UK, supplying 80% of the building industry.
ONS statistics released last week suggested that construction output decreased by 1.5% in August and whilst these reflect a broader measure of the construction sector, there is a clear contrast with BMBI figures, which relate to building materials and other industry status reports.
Commenting on the figures, John Newcomb, managing director of the BMF, said: “We are surpised by the ONS figures as they do not reflect what we see happening in the building materials industry. We believe that the BMBI figures more accurately show the strength of the sector as they correlate to future output. Put simply, for a brick to be laid, it first has to be supplied and purchased.
“There is lots of speculation on the impact of Brexit on the economy as a whole and on construction, so we are very encouraged to see sales growth of over 13% in August, which shows that our industry is still strong and in robust health.”