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The costs of energy, fuel and materials have risen significantly over the last 12 months and are expected to continue to rise this year, according to a survey by the Construction Products Association.

Product manufacturers reported that in addition to eroding margins, these increases will also raise construction costs despite the challenging economic environment.

Key points from the survey include:

•77% of manufacturers reported that input costs rose significantly during the last 12 months •59% of manufacturers stated that input costs rose significantly during the last three months •97% of manufacturers reported that fuel costs rose significantly over the last 12 months •65% of manufacturers anticipate further significant rises in the price of fuel during the next 12 months •75% of manufacturers stated that gas prices had risen significantly during the last 12 months

•43% of manufacturers anticipate that gas prices would increase significantly during the next 12 months

Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association said:
“More than three quarters of manufacturers reported that costs rose significantly over the last 12 months, with the last three months seeing a particularly sharp increase.

“Cost rises were mainly due to fuel, but increases in the prices of copper, steel and plastics also contributed to the rise. Looking ahead, the vast majority of manufacturers also anticipate that costs will continue to rise significantly over the next year, which will reduce margins further and push up costs of construction.

“The association is forecasting that output will fall by 2% during 2011 due to the impact of the public sector spending cuts, so this will exacerbate problems for the industry.”

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