Today’s Autumn Statement (5 December) presents “a brighter picture for the UK economy and construction industry”, according to Allan Wilén, economics director at Glenigan.

Commenting on the announcement made by the Chancellor George Osborne, Mr Wilén said: “The official forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility has upgraded UK economic growth for next year from 1.8% to 2.4%. The stronger economic performance will be especially welcomed by the construction industry, with economic growth of 2% or more usually a prerequisite for higher construction output. Glenigan is forecasting a 4% rise in project starts next year.”

Mr Wilén added: "The Chancellor's commitment to support new housing supply is encouraging. While noting the latest Glenigan data showing a 35% rise in residential planning approval, the Chancellor has pledged additional measures to increase housing supply, including a £1bn, six-year infrastructure investment programme to unlock new large housing sites. This is expected to support the delivery of around 250,000 homes in Manchester, Leeds and other parts of the country.

However, Mr Wilén went on to say: "The cuts to the Energy Companies Obligation programme are disappointing and threaten to depress the flow of home energy efficiency work at a time when the Green Deal has yet to gain traction."