Leading south west accountancy firm, Albert Goodman, believes the region’s construction industry has a lot to be positive about. There is evidence that order books are quickly filling up and business is getting busier. However, margins are still low as costs continue to increase and managing cashflow is difficult as the construction industry as a whole struggles to secure finance. There are definitely opportunities ahead but there are challenges too, which will probably result in construction firms acting cautiously for the remainder of the year.
Photo caption: Paul Carlisle (Bradfords), Richard Bugler (Albert Goodman), David Laws (MP) Andrew Parker (YHC)
Commenting on the Government’s current economic policy and looking ahead to the future of the construction industry, local MP and Minister of State for Schools and the Cabinet Office, David Laws, agrees, saying, “Construction has been one of the hardest hit industries, bearing the brunt of the economic downturn and suffering from the slowest recovery from a major recession in over 100 years. Notwithstanding this gloomy background, there are reasons to be positive. Household finances have rebalanced and are on a more secure footing. Low interest rates have enabled people to pay down debt and the recovering Eurozone crisis has helped give confidence. The UK economy is growing robustly, with ongoing growth for the rest of this quarter expected.
“Although the construction industry is some way off being at pre-recession levels, the Autumn Statement, planned for late November, will see the announcement of significant infrastructure expenditure, part of the Coalition Government’s longer term investment strategy. As a Government, we have protected infrastructure and transport investment in order to create further economic growth, which is something we will continue and is great news for the industry.
“Housing is a key priority, with not enough homes currently being built to support the population and this is putting an unnecessary strain on the housing benefit bill. All political parties are committed to a much higher rate of house building in the next Government, so that is a huge positive for developers in the region. Similarly transport in some areas of the region is very poor and there are ambitious road and rail plans, which will also be announced in the Autumn Statement and will spell good news for construction firms.”
MP David Laws was speaking at a business breakfast for members of the construction industry on Friday. The event was run by South West accountants Albert Goodman in conjunction with Bradfords Building Supplies and YHC Hire Solutions, over 50 key businesses attended the event, which was held at Lanes Hotel in Yeovil.