Fourth-quarter surveys of the construction supply chain showed that the industry ended 2021 on a positive note. Construction product manufacturers, SME builders and chartered surveyors all reported further growth in sales or workloads in Q4. Despite falling from Q3, the net balances for SMEs’ workloads and product manufacturers’ sales remained positive, taking the current sequence of growth to nearly two years.
As has been the case over the past 18 months, private housing and RM&I remained the main drivers of growth as demand proved resilient due to the ‘race for space’ among those seeking larger properties or planning renovations to accommodate home or hybrid working lifestyles. Given the pipeline of major projects and programmes within infrastructure, the balance of civil engineers’ workloads rose to a seven-year high in Q4 and so did the orders balance, signalling continued strength in 2022. Product manufacturers’ and chartered surveyors’ sales and workloads expectations for the year ahead also remained upbeat respectively, but the SMEs’ enquiries balance fell to a one-year low.
The CPA’s Construction Trade Survey brings together results from surveys of building contractors, specialist contractors, civil contractors and product manufacturers. It provides a pan-industry assessment of current and expected conditions.