The past quarter has again shown little movement, with lead times static for all but two packages. However, growing uncertainty over Brexit means this steadiness could soon change. 

01 / Going up

▲ Passenger lifts – non-standard 

02 / Staying level

▶ Piling (pre-cast)
▶ Concrete works
Structural steel frames
▶ Cladding – natural materials
▶ Cladding – metal panellised
▶ Cladding – curtain walling systems
▶ Atrium roofs
▶ Roof finishes – asphalt/membrane 
▶ Roof finishes – profiled metal
▶ Facade cleaning equipment
▶ Brickwork
▶ Blockwork
Drylining
▶ Demountable partitions
▶ General joinery
▶ Specialist joinery
▶ Raised floors
▶ Suspended ceilings
▶ Architectural metalwork
▶ Decorative wall coverings
▶ Internal stone floor and wall finishes
▶ Soft floor finishes
▶ Escalators
▶ Electrical package
▶ Mechanical package
▶ Ductwork
▶ Sprinklers
▶ Security systems
▶ Controls
▶ IT infrastructure equipment
▶ Data and voice cabling
▶ Fire detection and voice alarm systems
▶ Hard landscaping
▶ Logistics services

03 / Going down

▶ Rotary piling

04 / Lead times summary

Rotary piling ▼ lead times have fallen one week to seven weeks following six months of no change. Companies are busier but demand in the next six months is set to remain the same with no change to lead times. Precast piling ▶ lead times stick at four weeks with no change expected as workload and enquiry levels stay the same. Concrete works ▶ lead times remain at 10 weeks and enquiry levels are static. Brexit-related concerns on labour availability are not expected to affect contractors’ lead times over the next six months but may thereafter. Structural steel frames ▶ lead times stick at 15 weeks and are forecast to remain steady. 

Cladding – natural materials ▶ lead times remain at 39 weeks with no change forecast. Cladding – metal panellised ▶ lead times stay at 50 weeks; with some firms reporting rises in workload and enquiries as well as some of their suppliers increasing procurement times this could lead to increases in lead times in the next six months. Cladding – curtain walling systems ▶ lead times remain at 60 weeks; firms are busier and have more enquiries but do not expect lead times to change. 

Roof finishes – asphalt/membrane ▶ lead times stay at seven weeks; with workload and enquiries steady, no change is expected. Roof finish – profiled metal ▶ lead times remain at 15 weeks with no change anticipated. 

Facade cleaning equipment ▶ lead times remain at 33 weeks; contractors continue to be busier with more enquiries than six months ago but do not anticipate any change in lead times over the next six months. 

Lead times for brickwork ▶ stay at 11 weeks and  for blockwork ▶ at seven weeks; companies do not predict any increase. Drylining ▶ lead times remain at 13 weeks following a small increase in the previous period. No change is reported for the next six months. 

Demountable partitions ▶ lead times remain at 11 weeks, with no increase forecast in the next six months as workload and enquiry levels stay steady. General joinery ▶ lead times stay at 16 weeks with no change forecast. Specialist joinery ▶ lead times remain at 25 weeks after a one-week increase in the last six months due to increases in workload and enquiries. Companies anticipate further increases in the next six months. 

Raised floors ▶ lead times remain at six weeks with no changes reported. Suspended ceilings ▶ lead times remain at 13 weeks with no change reported. 

Architectural metalwork ▶ lead times remain at 15 weeks; workload and enquiry levels have stabilised with no change in lead times expected. Decorative wall covering ▶ lead times stay at four weeks with no change anticipated as workload and enquiries remain consistent. Internal stone floor and wall finishes ▶ lead times are restated at 16 weeks following receipt of further data. Enquiries and workload remain stable so no change in lead times is likely for the next six months. Soft floor finishes ▶ lead times remain at 11 weeks. No changes are anticipated as increases in workload and enquiries are absorbed in current capacity. 

Passenger lifts – non-standard ▲ lead times rose again, with an extra week in manufacture taking lead times to 41 weeks – an increase of nine weeks in the last six months. Companies are indicating possible further rises times in the next six months, dependent upon the Brexit outcome. Escalator ▶ lead times remain at 19 weeks with no change reported. Electrical package ▶ lead times remain at 20 weeks; with signs of an increase in workload and enquiries, some firms are forecasting a rise in in lead times in the next six months. Mechanical packages ▶ lead times remain at 25 weeks, following a rise the previous quarter due to design and manufacture of mechanical equipment. Availability of skilled labour post-Brexit remains a worry and firms anticipate lead times rising in the next six months. Ductwork ▶ lead times remain at eight weeks; no change is forecast. Sprinklers ▶ lead times remain at eight weeks. 

Security systems ▶ lead times remain at six weeks with no change forecast. Controls ▶ lead times remain at nine weeks. Enquiry levels remain unchanged but workload is up; contractors forecast no change in lead times. IT infrastructure equipment ▶ lead times remain at 10 weeks and data and voice cabling ▶ at 13 weeks. Fire detection and voice alarm systems ▶ lead times stay at five weeks; the previously reported slowdown in workload and enquiries has returned and contractors anticipate lead times to fall accordingly.

Hard landscaping ▶ lead times remain at 15 weeks. Logistics services ▶ lead times stay at five weeks; despite a rise in enquiries no change is expected. 

Only two packages are fluctuating this quarter, with rises for the third quarter in succession for non-standard passenger lifts due to continuing pressure on design and manufacturing resources. The impact of Brexit on labour and imported materials remains a concern across several packages. Rotary piling lead time has reduced by a week, but the market is predicting this will level off going forward. Across most packages workload and enquiry levels remain at a consistent level. 

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Lead times October - December 2018