Construction industry shows signs of fragile recovery

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BUILDING work in the region is on the rise, says the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF).

The Federation’s latest figures show sales of building materials in the Northern region rose by 1.9 per cent for the three months from December to February, compared with the preceding three-month period.

The Northern region outperformed the BMF’s national sales index, which saw a 3.7 per cent drop between one quarter and the next, though sales nationally were up 0.6 per cent compared with the same period a year ago.

BMF secretary Peter Matthews said: “It is clear construction output remains fragile, which leads to pretty volatile trading conditions around the country.”

He added: “It remains to be seen if the recent changes in planning law will open up more housing development, and whether government initiatives such as the Green Deal will bring about an increase in energy-efficient work to give a much needed boost to our sector over the coming year.”