While the Brexit vote has shaken confidence in the short term, housebuilders, installers and architects remain optimistic about the construction industry’s long-term outlook, according to the State of the Economy and Construction Market Report 2016.
The survey, which questioned 15,000 installers, housebuilders and architects, revealed that 21% of respondents expected the economy to improve in 2016, compared to 48% who expect it to worsen. 31% said they expect the economy to remain the same.
As expected, the majority of respondents said that Brexit had dampened expectations and created a higher level of uncertainty in the economy overall.
When quizzed on their expectations for the glazing industry in the short term, results were, again, less than encouraging. 31% said they expect the construction market to grow in 2016 against 38% who said growth will slow this year.
However, this negativity in the industry has been eclipsed by long-term optimism. When asked how confident they are in the growth of the industry in the next five years, more than half (52%) of respondents answered they were ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ confident. 21% remain neutral and 27% felt ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ confident.
In terms of which markets will drive growth, 52% of respondents predict that retrofitting/refurbishment projects will be the biggest growth market. This is a reaction to slowing growth in the residential market as a result of planning delays.
Respondents also had a positive outlook on their business’s performance going forward. 62% of those surveyed predict an increase in sales, compared to 34% who expect a decrease; with 52% forecasting an increase in profits and 38% expecting a decline.
Michele Wietscher, Commercial and Finance Director at Newview, comments: “The results of the survey show that although there will inevitably be uncertainty in the economy following Brexit there is also optimism and a willingness to invest.
“The longer lasting impact of Brexit remains to be seen – and whether we will enter another recession – but ultimately like in any difficult economic period this robust industry will find a way to achieve growth and create employment.”