The economy has experienced growth in the past few years, as the UK officially moved out of a recession and the main industries propel the economy forwards. In the run up to the General Election, the economy was a main talking point with the Conservatives urging voters “Our economic plan is working” – don’t pull the plug now and hand over the economy to another party.
The construction industry is one of the biggest economic sectors in the UK, along with manufacturing. Usually if these industries experience growth, it’s good news for the economy as a whole. Last year, construction output was expected to grow 4.8% in 2014 and 5.3% in 2015, with a prediction of 23% growth by 2018. However, a slump in growth in the first half of this year shows risks still remain in the sector.
Just before the General Election, the construction industry growth slowed more than expected, with the figures for March below the average for the year before and denoting a three month low. However, this was blamed on clients delaying spending decision until the outcome of the general election was announced.
Tim Moore, Markit Senior Analyst said, “UK construction output growth has settled in at a strong pace so far in 2015, although the recovery has lost some of its swagger since last year.
“All three main categories of construction activity saw a growth slowdown in March, in part reflecting softer new business gains as some clients delayed spending decisions ahead of the general election. However, UK construction companies are highly upbeat about their prospects for growth over the course of the next 12 months, helped by improving economic fundamentals, strong order books and a healthy pool of new invitations to tender.”
Despite the growth indications being slightly disappointing and less than expected for the first quarter of 2015, construction firms insist this is the most positive outlook in the last nine years. Last year at least five years of growth in the industry were forecast, but the risks still remain.
While the future is still uncertain and unpredictable for the construction industry, it is more critical than ever to ensure all insurance and legal policies are in place. Without the correct contractors insurance, employer’s liability insurance and other specialists policies relating to the nature of the business, companies could be forced into crippling payouts should accidents occur.