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Construction to lose £8.5bn in two years

15 Oct 12 Revised forecasts from the Construction Products Association predict a 6.3% fall in industry output this year and a further 1.4% fall next year.

This equates to a loss of £8.5bn of construction work in two years.

This is the gloomiest forecast that the CPA has yet made for 2012. In January it was predicting a 3.6% decline in industry output for 2012. In April it revised this to 3%. In July it reckoned on there being a 4.5% fall.

The CPA has also become more pessimistic about 2013. It had previously forecast a 1.3% decline.

Other key findings in the revised forecasts include:

  • Public sector construction work to fall 19% between 2010 and 2014
  • Private sector construction work to fall 4% in 2012 but rise by 15% between 2012 and 2016
  • Rail construction set to rise by more than one third by 2015
  • Energy construction set to double by 2016.

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Economics director Noble Francis said: “Construction is currently experiencing sharp falls, both for orders and output as a result of severe cuts in the government’s capital spending, coupled with a very subdued private sector recovery.  Construction has already lost £4.5 billion of work this year as the industry returned to recession for the third time in five years.  Prospects for the industry going forward are bleak.

“Although growth is expected in 2014, the next 12-18 months are likely to cause considerable pain to an industry that is already reeling from a prolonged decline.  Considering how important construction is to the economy as a whole, and how many times government has stated that construction is essential for recovery, these latest forecasts will do nothing to improve confidence in the UK economy.

“With the Autumn Statement less than two months away, it is imperative that government prioritises its spending by switching from current spending to capital investment for essential housing and infrastructure, as well as sorting out the long overdue model for drawing in private investment into construction. Otherwise, rather than driving economic growth in the near term, construction will keep the UK economy flat-lining as it has been for the past two years.”

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