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Positive UK sales volumes suggest a hopeful outlook for construction activity

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World Cement,

Growth in sales volumes of aggregates, ready-mixed concrete, asphalt, crushed rock and sand and gravel leads to anticipation of increased construction activity, according to Mineral Products Association (MPA).

MPA sales volumes of aggregates, ready-mixed concrete and asphalt improved in 1Q15. Seasonally adjusted results exemplified crushed rock and sand and gravel sales volumes increased by 2.2% and 3.6% in comparison with 4Q14. Ready-mixed concrete and asphalt sales saw an increase of 1.3% and 1.2%. Annual sales of cement increased by 7.8% in 2014.

1Q15 volumes for asphalt, aggregates and concrete continue to be 15%, 25% and 30% under the pre-recession peak. Therefore, there is potential for significant scope for further improvements in minerals products and construction markets, particularly scope outside London and in non-housing markets.

Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive MPA, commented: “Demand for our sector’s materials, which are critical to construction, has continued to grow in Q1 suggesting that construction activity remains buoyant. We believe that recent preliminary ONS construction data may be underestimating actual levels of activity and await later revisions to confirm the true picture. However, the official data do highlight that construction activity is essential to a continuing economic recovery and a new Government must ensure that uncertainty is minimised to boost confidence to encourage sustained public and private investment in construction following the election.”

Adapted from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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