28 October 2013 by Graham Ellicott,

At a macro-economic level the Ernst and Young ITEM Club reports that UK GDP is set to grow by 1.4% this year, accelerating to 2.4% in 2014 and 2.6% in 2015.This growth is currently being driven by the consumer and housing markets. However earnings and employment are having difficulty in keeping up inflation and the consumer will not be able to continuously drive the economy forward for very long without further help. Ernst and Young believe that the upturn risks running out of steam unless there is an increased contribution from exports and business investment, but are optimistic that this will occur in the foreseeable future.

The construction market according to the Construction Products Association is set to enjoy growth over the next four years as it recovers from its worst recession in over 35 years. This growth will mainly be due to private housing and infrastructure projects.

In comparison with the previous period the FIA’s Market Conditions Review reports that over the last six months the fire sector has experienced a gradual recovery with the private sector providing most of the low levels of growth. Competition in the sector remains high as the majority of companies report a fall or no change in tender values, while at the same time their suppliers are putting up prices. It is encouraging to see that the call for third party certificated companies is increasing and that FIA member companies report a substantial increase in enquiries;  nearly three times that of non-members.

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