Skip to main content

MPA reports more optimistic construction statistics

Published by
World Cement,

In contrast to the more subdued official construction statistics, the MPA has reported that throughout 2016, and particularly in the last quarter, the demand for mineral products was high. This indicates momentum in construction activity going into 2017, as mineral products are the largest element of the construction supply chain.

Sales volumes of ready-mixed concrete (RMC) in Great Britain improved by 4% compared to 2015. This was matched by a 4.2% increase for aggregates and a 4.6% increase for mortar. Asphalt sales were largely flat compared to 2015.

Sales volumes for these materials in 4Q16 were also positive, with improvements visible when compared to the weaker markets observed over the summer. Sales of RMC and aggregates increased by 1.5% compared to 3Q16, and 2.4% for asphalt. Mortar sales increased by 4.3% over the same time period, being underpinned by strong housebuilding activity.

Regionally, the picture is more mixed. In particular, lower demand in Wales indicated declining construction activity there in 2016. Although in GB the asphalt market remained flat, sales volumes in England dropped by 1.7% and confirmed industry concerns regarding lower and slower spending on renewals work by Highways England, as well as constrained local authority budgets.

Overall in the UK, MPA markets, construction and the general economy were more resilient during 2016 than was anticipated, but some slowdown is still expected for 2017, when the impact of the depreciation of sterling and the start of the process of leaving the EU is likely to impact on overall economic activity.

Aurelie Delannoy, Chief Economist at MPA, commented, “Our data show that construction activity remains resilient, but as inflationary pressures build up, housebuilding and construction of commercial offices and retail, the two sectors that supported activity last year, will be the most vulnerable if the risks of a general economic slowdown materialise. Meanwhile, infrastructure spending is likely to be a more positive feature of construction, but only from 2018. This raises concerns about construction activity and related mineral products sales in 2017.”

“In times of great uncertainty about the future UK economic model and our relationship with our major trading partners, building and maintaining confidence is key to investment in construction and related markets. Accelerated delivery of smaller scale infrastructure projects would send a strong signal to the industry and investors.”

Read the article online at:

You might also like


Optimisation 2020

Optimisation 2020 provides a unique online forum for cement industry professionals to hear first-hand from experts through a series of exclusive presentations from cement producers and industry experts.

Find out more and register for the series »



World Cement Spotlight with Rockwell Automation

World Cement Editor, David Bizley, sat down with Michael Tay, Advanced Analytics Product Manager at Rockwell Automation to discuss his recent article in World Cement.

Entitled ‘Smooth Sailing’, this article explains how machine learning can help save energy, reduce downtime and predict equipment failures, thus enabling the smooth running of cement plant operations.

Watch the interview now »


High-level control in cement production

Dirk Schmidt and Eugen Geibel, KIMA Process Control, discuss how the methods of High-Level Control (HLC) have been used in the cement industry in the early 2000s and control ever more complex closed-loop-controlled processes where standard controllers fail.


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):


This article has been tagged under the following:

Construction news