Latest construction figures suggest a "bleak outlook" for 2012

Published:  14 February, 2012

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) see little sign of recovery in the construction sector.

As a result, the Construction Products Association (CPA) remains pessimistic about the medium-term prospects for the industry.

Commenting on these latest figures, Noble Francis, economics director at the CPA, said: ‘The trend in construction output is clearly still downwards at a time when government acknowledges that construction is one of the sectors necessary to help the economy avoid slipping back into recession. Overall these figures only serve to reinforce our concerns about the prospects for the industry over the next 18 months.

"The Association’s latest forecasts suggest that construction output will fall by more than 5% during 2012, and there will be no significant recovery in the industry until 2014. This year will see a dramatic 14% fall in public sector construction as spending cuts begin to bite. The real concern, however, is that private sector construction is not recovering fast enough to offset this and will fall further during 2012, with the private commercial sector 5% lower than this year. With forecasts by the Ernst & Young Item Club this week suggesting that bank lending is likely to fall over the next 12 months, this will only exacerbate the problems for the construction industry and the economy as a whole."

CPA represents UK manufacturers and suppliers of construction products, components and fittings. The Association acts as the voice of the construction products sector, representing the industry-wide view of its members. The sector has an annual turnover of £50 billion, and accounts for 40% of total construction output.

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