86 percent of building and construction firms expect no immediate recovery

Published:  12 March, 2013

Recent QBE research showed that 86 percent of building and construction firms expect no recovery within two years, and 80 percent believe recovery will take three years or more.

As economic growth continues to show little sign of bursting into action, building and construction businesses are adjusting to conditions that look set to stick. The eighth national business sentiment survey, conducted by the business insurance specialist QBE, shows that just six percent of the sector’s businesses now expect a full recovery within two years, 86 percent expect the recovery to be two years or more and 80 percent believe we will need to wait until at least 2016 before a full recovery can be expected.

No growth or slow growth are becoming accepted as the ‘new normal’, with 56 percent of businesses expecting no change in turnover in the next six months and 24 percent expecting turnover to increase during 2013. At the same time, the number of building and construction companies that expect turnover to decrease over the next six months has jumped from 15 percent in 2012 to 21 percent in 2013 – a concerning trend.

Elliot Miller, general manager of UK National QBE European Operations, has said: “Almost all of the building and construction sector’s businesses expect it to be a long haul before the economy fully recovers. While the hope of a quick recovery has certainly petered out over the time QBE has been conducting this research, it is encouraging to now see a level of stability from businesses in the sector. Most of their cost-cutting measures have already been implemented, leaving management to focus on growing turnover. While the prospects for the economy may look weak, the building and construction sector remains resilient.”

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