At long last the green shoots of recovery are starting to show, with good news from a number of quarters. We are only seeing very small positive swings but it is in the right direction and will contribute to confidence and a positive attitude, which in turn will encourage further growth.
An example of this positive attitude is the news from the National Specialist Contractors Council that 31% of specialist contractors are planning to expand their business over the next three months. The Markit/CIPs index has reached its highest levels in 3 years, since June 2010. And further good news came from Savills’ Commercial Development Activity Index which showed there was growth in commercial activity across the UK at the strongest rate since 2007.
The Construction Products Association has revised its forecasts upwards with growth in 2014 anticipated to be 2.2% (although they still expect a 1.5% fall in 2013) and their latest Construction Trade Survey, shows that conditions in Q2 improved across all construction sectors and throughout the supply chain.
To confirm this, the ONS figures for Output in the Construction Industry, show that construction output in Q2 2013 was 1.4% higher than that of Q1 2013 although 0.5% lower than in Q2 2012.
This return to growth is being led by the housing market, with strong performance from the national house builders as a consequence of government initiatives. One predicted consequence will be an increase in house prices. The Nationwide House Price Index shows that house prices rose by 0.8% in July, which makes it 3.9% higher than in July 2012. The Halifax House Price Index reports that house prices increased by 0.9% in July, making it the sixth consecutive monthly rise.