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Tue June 18 2024

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Civils contractors see green shoots

4 May 12 The first positive figures for preliminary works since the collapse of Northern Rock helped maintain slender growth in the infrastructure sector, according to figures published today.

Results from the latest Civil Engineering Contractors Association’s workload trends survey show signs of growth in the industry in Q1 2012, primarily driven by the rail and electricity sectors.

There are also glimmers of hope for the preliminary works segment – infrastructure work that prepares the way for building projects. It has returned to growth for the first time since the credit crunch.

On balance, 1% of CECA members stated that their workloads had increased year-on-year in the last 12 months, employment in the industry increased in Great Britain as a whole, and future workloads were forecast to rise by 10% of firms, on balance. This was the second consecutive quarter of growth reported by the survey, after more than three years of decline.

However, workloads in the motorways and local roads sectors continued to deteriorate and, on balance, 43% and 30% of firms, respectively, indicated that activity fell in these sectors.

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Tender prices for new work increased in Great Britain in the 12

months to 2012 Q1, the first rise since 2008 Q3.

CECA director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner said: “This good news for the industry must be put in context. It is clear that certain sectors are driving growth while others - particularly the motorways and local roads sectors - continue to face challenging market conditions.

“It is far too early to be talking about a recovery in the sector as a whole, let alone successfully addressing the looming infrastructure deficit Britain faces over the coming years. Nonetheless, the news that the industry is growing - albeit slowly - and that certain sectors, such as preliminary works, are showing positive results, should be welcomed.”

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