The latest quarterly workload trends survey from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) shows that the sector has lost its fizz and, with major projects stalled, the boom appears to be over.
Six out of 10 civil engineering subsectors reported falling workloads in the second quarter of 2016. Workloads increased for a net balance of just 2 percentage points compared to a balance of plus 20 per cent reported in Q1. This was the lowest growth balance since the second quarter of 2013, exactly three years ago.
CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “These results spell real trouble for the UK economy, and should act as a major warning sign to policymakers. We know that infrastructure investment is a driver of economic growth. Given the recent disappointing economic forecasts following the Brexit vote, our figures show that the market is slowing just as the country needs it to speed up.
“The new government can’t afford to sit on its hands. There are existing committed programmes of work where we need to see the delivery of schemes - now - if this situation is to be reversed.
“Unless the Government kicks on to get spades in the ground, we will be looking at a dramatic slowdown in growth, which is bad news for the 200,000 people who work in our sector, and bad news for the economy as a whole.”
Source: Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Workload Trends 2016 Q2