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Geoff Cooper calls on government to back construction

Geoff Cooper, chief executive of Travis Perkins says the Government should be doing more to support construction.

Mr Cooper welcomed last week's government initiative to back £40bn of stalled infrastructure projects struggling for funding but said government needs to do more.

Mr Cooper told Reuters yesterday: "What we would wish the Government to do is stop spending bad money on current expenditure and spend good money on capital items. The Government has done a few things but I think we would want to press them even harder to go further in that direction."

He said latent demand in the company's markets was increasing because many projects were being scaled back or deferred until lead indicators showed that prospects were improving.

Mr Cooper said construction accounts for nearly 10% of Britain's gross domestic product, but spending money on shovel-ready projects would have a big multiplier effect on the overall economy.

House registrations in the UK fell 24% in April to June compared to the same time last year, according to latest figures from the NHBC.

For the first time this year, private housing registrations in June failed to match the previous year’s buoyant figures, causing an overall 10% fall over the second quarter, despite better April and May returns. The second quarter was the most dismal yet for public housing, which tumbled 49%, compared to last year.

The number of new homes registered in June was just 8328, 43% lower than the same month last year. Private sector homes fell 26% to 6,685, while public sector homes crashed 70% to 1643.

Source: Builders' Merchants News

27 July 2012
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