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Construction industry facing tough times ahead

Construction industry facing tough times ahead
The construction industry is set for increasingly challenging times ahead as a new forecast gives a bleak warning for the coming years.

As part of the annual Construction Skills Network report, CITB-ConstructionSkills stated that output within the sector is not expected to recover to its peak, which was realised in 2007, until 2022.

Officials claimed that the industry is set for "ten more years of pain" as the sector continues to struggle against the lack of major contracts, challenging financial pressures and falling demand. The organisation also noted that the next five years could also make for grim reading as there seems to be no dramatic improvement coming to the fore.

Commenting on performance during 2012, CITB-ConstructionSkills' report outlined that there had been a 20 per cent downturn in public sector housing and non-housing construction. There had also been declines of ten per cent and 15 per cent in terms of commercial sector construction and infrastructure construction respectively.

Judy Lowe, deputy chairman of CITB-ConstructionSkills, said: "Worryingly, the outlook doesn't look much better – by 2017, construction output will still be 12 per cent down on its 2007 peak, and employment 17 per cent down on its peak in 2008.

"Indeed, we don't anticipate the industry returning to its former levels until at least 2022 – meaning this will be one of the most difficult periods for construction on record."

This latest setback comes after the recent Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index stated that output had fallen to a six-month low over December 2012. The figure stood at 48.7, with any number below 50 representing contraction within the sector, and had fallen from the 49.3 that had been reported in November.

Despite these figures, the Construction4Growth campaign is due to meet with ministers to discuss ways in which this predicament can be rectified. The plans include the idea of investing in shovel-ready repair and maintenance projects which will get unemployed construction workers back on site boosting job creation within the industry.

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Date: 16/01/2013 16:38:00

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