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CN Chart of the Week: Stockpiles banish brick shortages

Brick stockpiles have nearly doubled in the last two years, helping to alleviate fears of a materials shortage.

According to data from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, brick stocks in the UK stood at 624m in Q1 2016, up by over 86 per cent compared with the 336m in stock in Q2 2014.

Stocks have risen for eight consecutive quarters and have managed to keep pace with rising demand from housebuilders.

In late 2014 and early 2015, the industry was beset with fears of a brick shortage, which could have hampered growth, especially in the housing market.

However, a relatively steady level of brick production – production hit a peak of 511m in Q2 2015 – has meant that production and stores have stayed strong enough to support buoyant construction activity.

Although production has seen a slight slowdown, with brick production now 3 per cent lower than it was in Q2 2014, it has shown signs that it is on the increase again, with production rising by 5 per cent between Q4 2015 and Q1 2016.

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