Hard on the heels of government statistics indicating that construction output dipped to a near 15 year low in the first quarter comes the industry’s own survey confirming a deterioration in trading conditions.
The latest Construction Trade Survey, published today, shows that activity in the majority of the construction industry fell during the first quarter of 2013. One again poor weather exacerbated already-falling demand.
Moreover, prospects remain downbeat with contractors, specialists and civil engineers all reporting declining orders for future work.
On Friday, the Office for National Statistics released estimates for construction output in Q1 2013 that showed it down 6.5% on the same quarter a year before and down 2.4% on the preceding quarter. Not since the fourth quarter of 1998 has construction output been as low as it was in the first quarter of 2013, the ONS said.
Key survey findings of today’s Construction Trade Survey include:
• 10% of building contractors reported that, on balance, output in private commercial work continued to fall yet all building output flatlined.
• Private housing and non-housing R&M were the worst hit sectors for building contractors, with 29% and 12% respectively, reporting falls in output, on balance.
• 39% of heavy and 38% of light side manufacturers reported an annual contraction in sales in Q1, on balance.
• Civil engineering workloads were broadly flat in Q1 for a second consecutive quarter with a balance of 1% recorded.
• A quarter of contractors reported that, on balance, orders fell in the first quarter.
• 11% of large and medium sized building contractors, on balance, suggested that tender prices reduced in the first quarter of 2013, compared to 43% in Q4.
• 43% of building contractors, on balance, reported rises in costs, an increase from 30% in Q4.
• 27% of contractors, on balance, reported falls in profit margins, down from 46% in Q4.
This article was taken from The Construction Index website and can be read in full by clicking the following link.