Civils contractors see orders plateau
Falling workloads in the infrastructure sector are a threat to the UK economy, according to civil engineering contractors.
The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) workload trends survey for the fourth quarter of 2015 found that the number of members seeing workloads grow is in decline. The net balance of firms seeing workloads increase was just 5%, compared to a balance of 52% for the same quarter in 2014. This was lowest CECA has seen since spring 2013.
In Q4 2014 a net balance of 42% of CECA members grew their order books. In Q4 2015 it was just 21%.
CECA raised the alarm on the same day that the Office for National Statistics published output in the construction industry statistics for 2015 Q4, showing a 0.4% fall in the last three months of last year – and what CECA described as “a shock” 3.9% fall in new infrastructure work.
CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “What we are seeing is an alarming plateau in infrastructure orders, when we should be seeing strong growth, according to the government’s forecasts.
“Infrastructure investment is a strong driver of growth in the wider economy. The recent sluggish performance of UK plc is indicative of an infrastructure sector that is yet to reach its full potential.
“We call on the government takes steps to shore up the UK economy by ensuring that its planned capital investment in the sector goes ahead without delay.”
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This article was published on 12 Feb 2016 (last updated on 16 Feb 2016).