Construction output is predicted to grow next year according to the latest forecasts by the Construction Products Association – however, output is set to fall by more than 2 percent this year. This follows an 8 percent contraction in 2012.

A recovery is anticipated in the medium-term with growth of 1.9 percent in 2014 and 3.8 percent in 2015.

Noble Francis, economics director at the association, said: "The industry lost £9bn of activity last year and these latest forecasts anticipate a further £2bn loss in 2013. This fall is primarily due to the lack of private sector investment and the continuing bite of public sector spending cuts. Conditions were exacerbated by poor weather during the first quarter.

"We anticipate that government policies such as Help to Buy will boost private housing, which is expected to rise 19 percent in just two years.

"Overall, 2013 is anticipated to be extremely challenging. From 2014, prospects are brighter for the industry, but the key risk is the extent to which government announcements feed through to activity on the ground."