We still do not have enough materials

ONS paints a grim picture for construction

The bean counters at the Office of National Statistics have revealed that materials inventories of the UK construction industry are at their lowest point since Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019.

The construction industry has seen fluctuations in stock levels since then because of increasing difficulty in getting products.

Global supply chain issues have meant that materials such as bricks, wood and glass have been difficult to acquire.

There was also a price impact because of the short supply as the price of bricks and wood rose.

Figure 4: There were changing stock levels for the construction industry as supply chain struggles led to shortages of materials
UK other Industries stock levels, Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019 to Quarter 4 2021

Not only have businesses been unable to acquire materials but there has also been a backlog of construction work (as most of the construction work halted during the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic), so any stock that businesses can acquire is quickly being used.

To add further strain on construction materials, many homeowners embarked on DIY projects during the periods of lockdown as they reassessed their homes and gardens with more time on their hands to make changes.

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Source: Office for National Statistics – Quarterly stocks survey

Notes:
  1. Q1 refers to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar), Q2 refers to Quarter 2 (Apr to June), Q3 refers to Quarter 3 (July to Sept) and Q4 refers to Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec).
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