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MPA calls for greater urgency on the delivery of infrastructure projects

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) has noted that the UK Mineral Products Industry is an essential and key enabling industry for investment in housing, infrastructure, and other development to be realised.

The latest construction Purchasing Managing Index (PMI) data, released in early June, provides further evidence of weakening construction activity. This follows MPA data that indicated sales of mineral products, such as aggregates, asphalt, concrete, and mortar, declined in 1Q19.

According to the MPA, the latest PMI data, showing a decline in construction output, particularly for civil engineering, illustrates the importance of accelerating the delivery of approved infrastructure plans. In its recent Comprehensive Spending Review and letter to the Chancellor, the MPA stressed that UK supply chains are hampered by the over-promising and under-delivery of infrastructure. There is positive construction and PMI data for housing, but the MPA has noted that its evidence of lower mortar sales suggests that relying on new housing to drive overall construction is a risky expectation.

The MPA has stated that these projects are key to supporting jobs in the sector and supply chain, with jobs being lost due to the lack of delivery. The industry is also concerned that, having invested in new and improved production capacity, particularly in asphalt and concrete, planned demand is not materialising.

“The falling construction PMIs add to concerns about construction activity highlighted in the MPA’s first quarter data, which showed declines in all products compared with 4Q18,” said Jerry McLaughlin, Executive Director of Economics and Public Affairs at the MPA. “Unless we see greater urgency on the delivery of planned infrastructure projects there is little prospect of construction contributing positively to GDP over the next two years. The mood music for major infrastructure projects seems to be getting less positive and there is a danger that political distractions are taking the government’s eye off the ball. MPA’s corporate social responsibility submission calls for a greater focus on infrastructure project and programme delivery, and the latest PMIs and other evidence of slowing construction add weight to this issue.”

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UK cement news Cement news 2018