Brexit

Over 40% of merchants think Brexit will be bad for the building industry: MRA Research

  • 15 Apr 2019

MRA Research, the specialist research division of MRA Marketing, recently conducted a survey, whereby merchants, suppliers and other construction industry stakeholders were asked about their views on Brexit.

Topics covered including what they thought the impact would be on the UK, the building industry and the company they worked for.

The merchant survey showed the largest share of merchants thought Brexit would not make much difference to the UK.

However, a third thought it would be either bad or very bad for the UK, with almost 60% of all respondents commenting separately that, although there may be a slight dip in the short term as a result of leaving, the UK would be fine in the medium and long term.

Reviewing the potential impact on the building industry, 41% of merchants surveyed thought Brexit would be bad or very bad for the sector, while 17% said it would be good or very good for the building industry.

Interestingly, merchants were less optimistic about the effect on their own company than the outlook for either the UK or the building industry, with only 9% expecting the company they work for to be slightly or much better off as a result of Brexit.

National merchants were more optimistic than regional merchants or independents on this point, and this was also highlighted by their comments, which mentioned that larger groups have an advantage due to their size and better buying power.

Respondents were also asked more specifically about changes they expected to see in the next 12 months – as a result of Brexit – in sales, prices, stock levels and other issues.

Mike Rigby, who started MRA Research over a quarter of a century ago, commented: “What clearly stands out from the survey is that over 80% of merchants expect prices to increase in the next year as a result of Brexit, while only 2% think they will decrease.

“But perhaps the most striking finding is that while 41% of merchants expect leaving the EU will cause an initial dip in confidence, most merchants expect building to continue as before, and do not see any major changes to their business in the long run.”

MRA Research focuses on market and customer insight in the building materials and construction markets.

The full report can be downloaded and more information on the survey can be found at www.mra-research.co.uk or by phoning Anna Eriksson on 01453 521621 or emailing her at [email protected]

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