Construction woes set to continue

Published:  15 February, 2012

LONDON: Poor performance of construction business in the last quarter of 2011 indicates continued difficulty for the sector this year according to the latest Construction Trade Survey published yesterday.

The final quarter of 2011 was very poor for the vast majority of the construction industry, but especially small and medium sized businesses the report found.

Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association said: "Cuts to public sector capital budgets had a tangible impact on activity across the construction supply chain, exacerbated by economic uncertainty and a lack of lending.

"As a consequence 2011 Q4 was very challenging for the industry. However, of even greater concern, previously positive workloads in sectors such as commercial and private housing have now become negative. Furthermore, prospects for the industry in 2012 are poor with sharply deteriorating order books and enquiries.

"The only bright spots appear in exports and infrastructure. Yet, this is unlikely to be sufficient to offset all the other sectors in which workloads are declining. As a consequence, instead of being a driver of growth in the UK, construction is likely to hinder economic recovery this year unless the Chancellor takes steps in next month's Budget to stimulate the industry and the economy as a whole."

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