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2nd November 2021

Partner Insight: Insolvency spike on the cards for construction sector

Insolvency spike on the cards for construction sector

-New Atradius Construction Sector Report-

Insolvencies in the construction sector could rise as much as 25% in the next six months despite a rebound in orders, reports trade credit insurer Atradius.

In its new Industry Trends: Construction report, Atradius details how the UK construction sector is benefiting from a robust demand-driven rebound which will see growth return after the negative impact of the pandemic. While the sector contracted by 14% in 2020, UK construction output is forecast to rebound by almost 15% in 2021 and grow by more than 5% in 2022. While commercial construction activity is hampered by subdued demand for retail and office space, growth is being predominantly driven by residential building and large public infrastructure projects. However, Atradius also reports that a shortage of construction materials has led to delays in project completion.

With business intelligence on millions of firms worldwide, Atradius reveals payments in the construction industry currently take an average of 90 days. The number of non-payments and insolvencies over the past 12 months has been low. However, both are expected to increase in coming months as government support ceases, while higher material prices and labour costs eat into the financial strength of businesses. Atradius report margins are already tight and any slippage could have a major effect on profitability and performance.

Atradius experts warns that both material and labour shortages have triggered significant cost increases and this knock-on effect will ultimately squeeze profit margins in the short and medium term, particularly for builders with fixed price contracts. Should input prices continue to remain overly high, Atradius forecasts insolvencies could increase up to 25% in the coming six months. Due to the looming downside risks for industry, Atradius’ sector outlook remains ‘poor’ despite the robust rebound in orders and output.

For more information and a suite of free economic, payment and country reports, visit the publications pages of the Atradius website https://atradius.co.uk. You can also follow @AtradiusUK on Twitter and AtradiusUK on LinkedIn.

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