Despite a slowdown in workload, particularly in house building, the construction industry is spending more than ever on imported products and materials.
Imports in the second quarter of this year leapt by almost 10% (more than £300 million) on the previous quarter to £3.47 billion, despite a reduction in the massive imports of wood products for the timber hungry house builders.
On an annualised basis the UK now imports almost £13 billion worth of construction materials. That equates to about 25% of the total used.
Much of the jump is likely to be down to the falling value of Sterling. This has helped to boost exports which enjoyed a very second strong quarter. However, this was not enough to stop the widening of the gaping trade gap in building materials.
The UK now imports £6.4 billion more in building materials than it exports. With the pound weakening and with rising inflation the scale of imports may start to become more of a concern for companies trying to manage cost uncertainty.