The encouraging construction industry growth figures experienced during the latter part of 2013 were often tempered with pessimism. Many observers suggested that comparatively rapid industry growth couldn’t last, and that the demand for residential housing – spurred by the Help to Buy and Funding for Lending schemes – would ultimately prove unsustainable. However, the latest Construction Products Association figures have given the lie to such claims.
The last CPA figures – published in January this year – forecast a fairly robust 3.4% growth for 2014. However, the CPA has since revised this figure, forecasting growth of 4.5% for 2014 instead. This significant 1.1% increase is largely due to an estimated 18% increase in private housing starts for the year ahead.
Critics will be quick to point out the continued heavy reliance of construction industry growth on the residential housing market. The housing bubble has not yet burst, as has been grimly predicted in many quarters, but that doesn’t mean it won’t do so before long. However, the CPA has also revised its infrastructure growth forecast for 2014 – up 3.3% from 6.8% to 10.1%. It seems that residential construction will be less crucial to industry growth in the months and years ahead.
If growth will perhaps arrive more quickly than many expected in the short-term, this process will become more gradual over time. As well as revising this year’s figures, the CPA looked ahead to 2017, where the outlook is slightly less rosy. Forecast growth rates for the next few years have been revised down: 2015 to 4.8% from 5.2%, 2016 to 4.3% from 4.4% and 2017 to 3.6% from 3.8%.
Now is an exciting time for the construction industry. After years of belt-tightening and pessimism, we can now look to enjoy the benefits of growth once more. Use our range of job costing software solutions to maximise your profits and pursue growth for your firm this year.