May 2012 – Quarrying
After two relatively steady years, sales from aggregates producers took a sharp dive during the first quarter of this year, based on recent figures from the Mineral Products Association.
It’s a reminder that the economic climate is still very chilly, as many of the public sector spending cuts brought in by the Coalition Government have still to work through the system properly.
Added to which, major projects such as the Olympics and M25 widening have been through their ‘materials heavy’ phases, and they will leave behind a big gap in the market.
The MPA is not the first – and probably won’t be the last construction body – to call for major infrastructure investment to stimulate the economy and revive a key business sector.
A capital works programme need not deflect the Government from its deficit reduction programme, and has the advantage of not sucking in imports and boosting British industry chiefly.
With the economy now officially back in recession, ministers may feel the timing is right.
Meanwhile, the quarrying sector will try to forget the gloom for a few days next month at the Hillhead exhibition. With a host of new machines launched, it’s proof that, even in uncertain economic times, there remains the need for companies who can produce innovative and more efficient products.
Our Hillhead preview is on pages 36-40. iPad users can view videos of many products that will be on show.
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