After a testing two years, the construction sector’s recovery appears promising but risks masking the continued pressures small builders face with materials and labour, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), in response to this morning’s ONS Construction Output Data.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Construction as a whole is on up year on year, but local builders continue to operate in an extremely challenging environment, facing difficulties in sourcing affordable materials and labour. The FMB’s recent membership survey highlighted the severity of these pressures, with 95% of local builders reporting increased material costs and upwards of 40% struggling to recruit for key trades such as carpentry and bricklaying. Faced with rampant inflationary pressures and significant uncertainty regarding the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, smaller building firms look set to suffer at a time when consumers are tightening their belts.”

Berry continued: “I urge government to take a proactive approach to reduce the difficulties faced by local building firms. A move that would act as a boost for builders and reduce long terms costs for consumers would be the introduction of a National Retrofit Strategy – a measure sorely missed in the Government’s Energy Security Strategy. This would create demand for retrofit projects, that local builders will then deliver and cut energy bills for customers.”

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