In 2022 62% of FIS Members are anticipating growth in workload, but have advised caution that labour shortages could constrain demand.
In the Q1 2022 State of Trade Survey, run in partnership with the Construction Products Association, overall volume is encouraging with the majority of members reporting growth in both sales and workload and predicting this will continue through the year.
Concern comes when we look at the costs and with inflation across the board biting hard and a number of members expressing concern about the impact of this in a fixed price environment. Labour Availability is likely to be the biggest constraint on growth, however the added uncertainty these record levels of inflation are undermining confidence with nearly 40% of members suggesting a combination of demand side challenges and material price increases could impact forecasts.
Commenting on the report FIS CEO Iain McIlwee stated:
“It is so difficult to look ahead in the world as it is, as one crisis ends there seems to be another waiting just around the corner, but despite this there is optimism in the survey and once more I find myself in awe at the amazing resilience and flexibility that I see through our supply chain . Certainly, in the near term, inflation is a huge challenge and it will not only put pressure on the viability of projects, but unless pragmatism is applied to the lump sum, fixed priced project approach it will undermine the viability of some in the supply chain. Structurally too the labour market challenge is significant – we have included some of the headline numbers in this report to emphasise that action is needed to join up the education and work market and support this industry in finding new people or we simply won’t be able to get the work done and construction’s ability to drive growth in the economy will be limited”.