Monday, 14 November 2016

Brexit. Trump. Economic forecasts. JMS - growth in the shadow of headline gloom. Daniel Staines

What a world. 

Hand on heart I don’t believe any but the brave really expected the Brexit vote to take us out of Europe and the relative stability of ‘the past’. And, again, who truly thought that an outspoken businessman and reality show host would become President Elect of the United States of America.

The foundations of traditional stability – politically, socially and economically – have been well and truly shaken and the watch word is uncertainty.

Is it really possible to make viable forecasts in such uncertain times? So what are we to make of last week’s report in the Business section of BBC News online. It said: “The UK’s construction sector recorded its weakest performance for four years in the July – September quarter”. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that “Construction volumes fell by 1.1%”.
The figures measure the first three months following the Brexit vote.

Similarly, Experian published a revision to its growth forecast. They have downgraded construction’s growth to 1.7% from their April forecast of 2.9% and suggest it will remain at 1.7% through and into 2018. The illustration (right) is from the Experian report.

The economist, Michael Dall, from Barbour ABI reacted to the report saying, “Had the vote been to Remain, I would have expected a stronger second half of the year so growth overall would be better for 2016.

Add to this doom laden missive the latest from SIG who issued a profit warning as its chief executive, Stuart Mitchell stepped down.

This is the big picture of course.

But, should we let it affect us. Do we follow a forecast or react to it by continuing to operate positively, smartly, efficiently, professionally. 

Over the past two years, JMS has both physically and financially doubled in size. We are in a sound financial position with a full (if not over-full) order book and a strategy for further sustained growth and geographical expansion. 

Both the London office and Chelmsford office have just signed contracts for new, larger premises and the Midlands office is knocking walls down to accommodate more staff. And just last month we opened a Nottingham office. We are growing and we are exceeding our targets.

Be sure though. Such growth is no frivolous finger to economic forecasts. JMS expends its service network with control and stealth.

We spread slowly geographically but grow intellectually by developing a broad combination of skill-sets which are networked across several self-motivated offices. This gives clients the benefits of regional project management, whilst drawing on top level expertise from across the group, to skilfully support each technical discipline within the project.

As we continue to grow, we take advantage of our ability to rapidly alter direction, to absorb changing circumstances and maintain our ‘can do attitude’.

Brexit, what Brexit. Gloom, what gloom. Forecasts – we’ll stick to our own thank you. 

And as for you Mr Trump, one thing you do understand is construction, so you’ll appreciate our optimism ... with or without your wall in our project pipeline.

We add value to every project we have been,
are, and will be equally proud to support.