Improved Project Starts Brightening Construction Prospects

A rise in projects starts during the first quarter against the closing months of 2015 points to a brightening outlook for industry workload over the coming months.

The latest Glenigan Index shows that the value of work starting on site in the three months to March was 5% up on the preceding quarter, although 13% lower than a year ago in the three months to March was 13% down on the same period of a year ago. This improvement on the performance in recent month is evidence that industry workload is stabilising after the disruptions seen over the winter.

Construction Growth 2016Furthermore the development pipeline is continuing to strengthen, with the value of work securing planning approval in the first quarter 9% up on a year of planned projects, driven by an increase in private sector schemes. The development pipeline of private housing, industrial and office projects are particularly strong.

“Private investor confidence will be key. Near term we anticipate that some private sector investors will defer their final commitment to proceed with planned projects until after June’s EU referendum.

Nevertheless we anticipate that the strong private sector development pipeline expected to boost tendering opportunities over the coming months as clients’ line up work to start in the second half of the year.

Accordingly while the impending vote is likely to dampen project starts in the near term, the second half of 2016 could see a sharp rise in activity as private investors press ahead with projects once the issue of EU memberships has been resolved.”

Many of those areas worst affected at the turn on the year by the flooding and water logged ground have seen the sharpest turnaround in project starts. The North West, West Midlands East of England and Scotland all saw a double digit growth in the value of projects starting on site during the first quarter.

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