Improving prospects reported for UK construction
15 May 2012
Posted by John Bull
The UK construction industry has seen an improvement in its outlook for the future, according to a new report.
According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the sector is seeing commercial sector workloads improve.
The most recent RICS Construction Market Survey reveals eight per cent more professionals surveyed reported rises rather than falls during the first three months of 2012, reversing a contraction recorded at the end of 2012.
Public sector activity remained depressed during the quarter in question, but 21 per cent of respondents forecast workloads will rise over the next year as private building activity rallied.
Most parts of the country saw increased output at the beginning of this year, while overall input costs are continuing to grow, with a balance of 29 per cent of surveyors reporting rises in spending than declines, fuelled by materials increases.
However, Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, cautioned: "There are of course still significant hurdles to overcome. Finance for development remains a problem, as does macroeconomic uncertainty."
Providing an extra boost to sustainability efforts in the building industry, Mark Prisk, the business minister, has unveiled an additional £1 million in funding for the Green Construction Board (GCB) to boost its operations.
The government support is intended to help the body and its working groups to promote the opportunities offered by sustainable building and infrastructure development.
Mr Prisk co-chairs the GCB and is looking at ways for the board to take forward activities through private sector donations in order to "accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy".
He added: "This additional funding will be used to get even more value from those contributions by supporting particular tasks.
A final version of the GCB's Routemap for the sector is due to be published by the end of 2012 and the consultative forum is developing guidance for construction firms to make their operations greener.