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Renewed confidence in the UK construction industry

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World Cement,

The latest forecast released by the Construction Products Association predicts that the UK construction industry is set to recover at a faster rate than previously anticipated. The sector will be driven by growth in private house building, infrastructure work and commercial activity over the next four years.

Dr Noble Francis, Economics Director of the Construction Products Association, commented on the forecast: “The construction industry is in a very different place to just one year earlier, when output fell to a level 15.4% below its pre-recession peak. Since 1Q13, activity has picked up considerably. Initially this was due to a rapid expansion in house building but more recently growth in new infrastructure and a recovery in London commercial activity have supplemented further rises in private housing.”

Forecast highlights


Construction output is expected to rise by 3.4% in 2014 and by another 5.2% in 2015.


Private housing growth has been driven by wider economic recovery and the government’s Help to Buy policy. Housing starts in Great Britain during 2013 are estimated to have increased by 24% and further growth rates of 16% in 2014 and 10% in 2015 are forecast. Private housing repair, maintenance and improvement are expected to grow by 3.5% in 2014 and then by 4% each year until 2017 and public housing will begin to increase by 2% in 2014 and 2015.


In the second half of 2013, the infrastructure sector was a key driver of construction growth, with output in the sector forecast to increase by 39.7% by 2017. This growth is primarily expected from a recovery in the roads sub-sector and further growth in rail construction.

Commercial activity

Output in the private commercial sector decreased by 33.1% from 2008 – 2012. However, in 2013 major office projects in London prompted a recovery in the sector. Growth of 2.7% is anticipated in 2014, following growth of 2.4% in 2013. From 2015, wider economic recovery and a rise in demand for prime office and retail space outside of London and the South East is predicted to prompt growth in the private commercial sector.


Growth is projected to continue throughout the forecast period, to 2017. However, considerable uncertainties remain regarding the long-term sustainability of the recovery in the industry and wider economy in the latter years of this forecast (post-2015).

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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