UK Economy 2017/18 - Flatline or Recession?

mr_goo
mr_goo Posts: 3,770
edited May 2017 in The cake stop
Firstly I will point out that I am no expert at all regards economics and would welcome comment from those who work in the city that have their fingers on the pulse of the nation.
I work in construction and have always considered it a good barometer as to how the UK economy is heading. Outside of London the predominant sector of construction is developer/house building. It is the sector that in my opinion is keeping the construction industry going and has been the case for last 2 to 3 or more years.
However I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a client architect who had attended a recent conference where there was a contingent of Land Surveyors. They reported that work load had nearly dried up. Now for those unacquainted with this element of construction. These are the guys that are at the coal face and kick off the whole process. So if they aren't getting work now, it will follow that a delayed knock on effect to the rest of the construction sector is inevitable.

I've been thinking for sometime that the construction industry cannot be sustained on house building alone and that something has to break. Given that the news is reporting lowest GDP since Brexit vote and that we are also approaching that 10th year of the recession cycle, are we about to enter troubled waters?

Hope I make sense.
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Comments

  • surrey_commuter
    surrey_commuter Posts: 18,866
    Mr Goo wrote:
    Firstly I will point out that I am no expert at all regards economics and would welcome comment from those who work in the city that have their fingers on the pulse of the nation.
    I work in construction and have always considered it a good barometer as to how the UK economy is heading. Outside of London the predominant sector of construction is developer/house building. It is the sector that in my opinion is keeping the construction industry going and has been the case for last 2 to 3 or more years.
    However I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a client architect who had attended a recent conference where there was a contingent of Land Surveyors. They reported that work load had nearly dried up. Now for those unacquainted with this element of construction. These are the guys that are at the coal face and kick off the whole process. So if they aren't getting work now, it will follow that a delayed knock on effect to the rest of the construction sector is inevitable.

    I've been thinking for sometime that the construction industry cannot be sustained on house building alone and that something has to break. Given that the news is reporting lowest GDP since Brexit vote and that we are also approaching that 10th year of the recession cycle, are we about to enter troubled waters?

    Hope I make sense.

    if you are looking for a barometer for the whole economy then you are probably better looking at indices for consumer confidence/spending as that is what has driven the economy for 10 years

    or listen to the experts when they tell you not to sabotage your own economy
  • surrey_commuter
    surrey_commuter Posts: 18,866
    the price worth paying for taking back sovereignity


    So if it's a choice of becoming part of a pseudo Union of the Soviet European Republics, the erosion of democracy, the inability of a country to determine it's own future and the loss of our own armed forces, for me it will be OUT.
  • the price worth paying for taking back sovereignity

    I couldn't disagree more strongly. It's a terrible decision.

    This notion of sovereignty for the British people is nonsense. In order to maintain any level of economic activity the UK will become a tax haven and slash corporation tax. The rich will look after the rich even more than they do currently.

    Where's your sovereignty then SC? The mega corporations of the world will have far more influence than the EU ever did
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  • slowmart
    slowmart Posts: 4,480
    the price worth paying for taking back sovereignity


    So if it's a choice of becoming part of a pseudo Union of the Soviet European Republics, the erosion of democracy, the inability of a country to determine it's own future and the loss of our own armed forces, for me it will be OUT.


    what planet are you on? :roll:



    Its a pity the price of your little englander mentality will be paid by the next generation.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

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  • Either SC is having a little joke or he's logged on under his "Coopster" ID by mistake.
  • robertpb
    robertpb Posts: 1,866
    Just look at the Contractors top 50, this shows all elements of construction, up 36.9% in March from February, up 58.9% from March 2016. These are deals signed and ready to go.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • surrey_commuter
    surrey_commuter Posts: 18,866
    Either SC is having a little joke or he's logged on under his "Coopster" ID by mistake.

    was quoting Goo's opening post from the Brexit thread - maybe I should have made that clearer
  • lostboysaint
    lostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    robertpb wrote:
    Just look at the Contractors top 50, this shows all elements of construction, up 36.9% in March from February, up 58.9% from March 2016. These are deals signed and ready to go.

    I think you need to look at the ONS figures, not the bullshit pedaled by the contractors via the construction media. (I am in the industry)
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  • Unfortunately, what could be an informative topic and interesting discussion, will be hijacked by bitter remoaners. Confirmed by the first reply in this thread :roll:
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,244
    People buying less shoot because of inflation... it's probably a good thing... maybe less of a queue when I head to the local recycling centre?
    left the forum March 2023
  • Jez mon
    Jez mon Posts: 3,809
    Unfortunately, what could be an informative topic and interesting discussion, will be hijacked by bitter remoaners. Confirmed by the first reply in this thread :roll:

    Well you could add something to the discussion, rather than moaning about remoaning?

    General opinion would suggest that much of the economic growth in recent years has been focused around the capital, and any workers in the public sector will have had years of stagnating wages, so it's not like the country was in rude economic health before the referendum.
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • Either SC is having a little joke or he's logged on under his "Coopster" ID by mistake.

    was quoting Goo's opening post from the Brexit thread - maybe I should have made that clearer

    You'd have struggled to make it less clear other than by posting in a language that even C3PO couldn't translate!
  • surrey_commuter
    surrey_commuter Posts: 18,866
    Unfortunately, what could be an informative topic and interesting discussion, will be hijacked by bitter remoaners. Confirmed by the first reply in this thread :roll:


    have you not read the Remoaner vitriol the saboteurs have slung at me - they even accused me of being you so this will probably get me labelled a bi-polar schizophrenic.

    anyway I thought you accepted that the economy will do worse for at least 16 years?
  • With globalisation, the internet and QE, economics and their prediction of recessions is now wholly different to the past. Past rules no longer apply.

    My view:

    UK growth will continue for at least a few more quarters before we flatline. Debt levels have to set new records before there is a chance of a correction and debt is currently the cheapest it has ever been. This will not end tomorrow.

    With globalisation, mature economies are now driven by the world economy. The next recession will be due to an outside shock where some indicator gets too far away from normality, this will scare the markets and everything locks up causing an a crash. QE and its use, is the unknown of whether this crash leads to a recession.

    Predicting what this will be and when it will happen is where the difficulty now lies. Very few people foresaw the 2008-2009 recession and this will be the same next time.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,535
    Unfortunately, what could be an informative topic and interesting discussion, will be hijacked by bitter remoaners. Confirmed by the first reply in this thread :roll:

    unfortunately, what could be an informative topic and interesting discussion, will be hijacked by reactionary little england brexiters. confirmed by this posting :roll:
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,231
    Unfortunately, what could be an informative topic and interesting discussion, will be hijacked by bitter remoaners. Confirmed by the first reply in this thread :roll:

    If you want people to not mention leaving the EU in a thread about the economy, I think you might be set for more disappointment in the future as well.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,244
    It's just poor retail data... nothing to see there, completely predictable, seeing the fall of the pound and the inflation over the past few months.
    Inflation is slow to kick in, because supermarkets prefer to squeeze the source rather than the customer... they are basically like pimps...
    With rising prices, "consumer's confidence" falls, or the way I see it "reality check kicks in"

    I think it is a very good thing!
    left the forum March 2023
  • mamba80
    mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    Eurozone growth after years of lagging the UK is set to grow, whilst last Q figures for the UK have halved, still forecast to be similar to the EU but next Q figures will be the litmus test for how brexit will or wont effect us.

    Any talk on the economy cannot ignore brexit, even Davis would admit that leaving the EU is a monumental decision and apparently the negotiations will be difficult and at times testing for all involved,esp as all those nasty europeans are ganging up on poor old UK or so says the well known remoaner T May.
  • robertpb
    robertpb Posts: 1,866
    robertpb wrote:
    Just look at the Contractors top 50, this shows all elements of construction, up 36.9% in March from February, up 58.9% from March 2016. These are deals signed and ready to go.

    I think you need to look at the ONS figures, not the bullshit pedaled by the contractors via the construction media. (I am in the industry)

    I think you should go and find how this works, the figures I quoted are for forward contracts, the ONS figures are for what has already happened. But even then ONS figures are on an up trend. ( Engineer who's worked on most of London's tallest buildings)
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • I haven't noticed a slow down in construction , as a freelance engineer / agent , things are busy. Comparing London fluctuations and markets rarely reflects the rest of the U.K.
    The northwest recruitment crowd are continually trying to fill vacancies , our sites are on go slow as we don't have enough men. Guys come by the gate one day and are offered a job the next.
    Some walk after a week as better is offered.
    Can`t comment for land surveyors , maybe they are all out elsewhere trying their hand at engineering where new jobs appear every few days.
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,231
    Sounds like good news.
  • thistle_
    thistle_ Posts: 7,147
    robertpb wrote:
    Just look at the Contractors top 50, this shows all elements of construction, up 36.9% in March from February, up 58.9% from March 2016. These are deals signed and ready to go.
    The contractors are at the end of the construction chain and are working on things which were planned/designed a year or two ago.
    I'm in the middle (design) and things have slowed down a bit now things are getting on site and we are currently looking quiet towards the end of the year.
  • Hopefully all the government funded infrastructure projects will come to fruition , and not be whipped away in the name of cost savings .
    For those of you in design , as you are not too busy , can you answer my technical queries please, we have 10 men stood waiting for a decision.
    Pow !!!
  • lostboysaint
    lostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    robertpb wrote:
    robertpb wrote:
    Just look at the Contractors top 50, this shows all elements of construction, up 36.9% in March from February, up 58.9% from March 2016. These are deals signed and ready to go.

    I think you need to look at the ONS figures, not the bullshit pedaled by the contractors via the construction media. (I am in the industry)

    I think you should go and find how this works, the figures I quoted are for forward contracts, the ONS figures are for what has already happened. But even then ONS figures are on an up trend. ( Engineer who's worked on most of London's tallest buildings)

    I hope your engineering is a tad more robust than your ability to provide a coherent argument, otherwise they may not be the tallest much longer. I'll say no more other than that I've written a great many of those Builders Conference, Building, CJ50 etc. returns for major contractors - there's more than one way to get the share price up you know ;)
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  • lostboysaint
    lostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    I haven't noticed a slow down in construction , as a freelance engineer / agent , things are busy. Comparing London fluctuations and markets rarely reflects the rest of the U.K.
    The northwest recruitment crowd are continually trying to fill vacancies , our sites are on go slow as we don't have enough men. Guys come by the gate one day and are offered a job the next.
    Some walk after a week as better is offered.
    Can`t comment for land surveyors , maybe they are all out elsewhere trying their hand at engineering where new jobs appear every few days.

    The industry lost more than 500k people during the recession*. It was never going to take a lot of "growth" (and that growth is very localised) before resources became the issue that we see today.

    *it lost the same number in the previous recession, more than have been lost in the mining industry, but our PR is so shit that no-one either knows or cares.
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  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,596
    It costs a lot more to build stuff now in London than it did in 2012. That's the extent of my knowledge of the variations in construction pricing.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,638
    As an architect in a London practice specialising in high spec domestic work (so not an accurate reflection of the country as a whole, but another point on the graph nonetheless), I am currently rushed off my feet. We are interviewing at the moment and candidates seem to have some fairly bullish ideas on what they should be paid.
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  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,490
    As a consulting engineer doing a lot of work on pre-planning projects I'm not seeing any sign of a slow down. There was a bit of caution immediately after the Brexit vote but that didn't last long. Yes, a lot it residential work but there's plenty of other stuff and when you now have the HCA supposedly keen to develop tens of thousands of homes themselves I can't see it stopping any time soon (but then 2009 came out of the blue too). As said above the biggest issue is finding experienced staff though oddly the usual supply and demand led salary rises don't seem to be happening and a lot of companies seem to be just expecting staff to work longer and longer hours free of charge. In my 28 years in the industry including two recessions it's the worst atmosphere I've known.
  • mr_goo
    mr_goo Posts: 3,770
    rjsterry wrote:
    As an architect in a London practice specialising in high spec domestic work (so not an accurate reflection of the country as a whole, but another point on the graph nonetheless), I am currently rushed off my feet. We are interviewing at the moment and candidates seem to have some fairly bullish ideas on what they should be paid.

    Doing any high end res' in Devon?

    I think that a downturn in construction will take till back end of 2018 before it bites.

    As for job losses in the last recession. The numbers that lost their positions is incredible, yet very little is publicised. The manufacturer I was working for in 2008 laid off over 1000 in one go. Yet it never got a mention on the news.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,615
    Bahaha Brexiter worrying about the eoconomy.