The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) has warned that rising inflation, particularly affecting fuel prices, will hinder contractors in 2011.
This follows the release of figures from the Office for National Statistics which shows that consumer prices index (CPI) annual inflation measure was 3.7% in December, up from 3.3% in November. Furthermore, the retail prices index of annual inflation was 4.8%, up from 4.7% in November.
Contractors are particularly concerned that these increases come from price rises in fuels and lubricants, which rose in December by 2.8% − the largest rise for a November to December period since 1996, CECA said.
Petrol and diesel prices also saw a steep increase, reflecting a sharp rise in the price of oil between November and December 2010. The price of petrol, as recorded by the CPI, stood at a record high of £1.22 in December.
“Today’s inflation figures will be very concerning to contractors, who are still struggling with rising costs and shortages of workload as the industry slowly comes out of recession.
“With fuel now hitting record highs, contractors will see their businesses suffer further increased costs at the beginning of 2011,” CECA national director Rosemary Beales said.
“Cost inflation is not an issue that is going to go away in 2011. It is therefore vital that the whole industry works together to manage its impact. Failure to do so will threaten both businesses and projects nationwide.”