New research shows the decline in construction may be nearing bottom, but Civil Engineering displayed growth in January.
According to analysts Glenigan, their index for construction remains at at all-time low, falling to 81.6 in January 2009, 26.8% down year-on-year but slighly up compared to Decembert 2008. The index of construction starts is callibrated against a baseline of 100 in 2006.
Over the whole sector, "The Glenigan Index indicates a major contraction in the value of new projects starting on site," reads the report.
However, the civil engineering sector showed an increase of 18% year-on-year, and a sharp rise compared to December 2008.
"Glenigan Civil engineering prospects strengthened this month. Several medium-sized road projects together with projects in the energy sub-sector provided a strong boost to the sector during January.
"The civil engineering index finished the month 18% higher than a year ago. The strength of the index suggests the sector may be better placed than most to weather the economic downturn."
"Civil engineering prospects are expected to remain strong during 2009. The sector will benefit from new projects in the renewable energy sector and spending on both rail and road infrastructure," reads the report.
The research also suggests that The Midlands and the North West of England have experienced the largest declines in the value of projects starting on site.
Construction starts in Northern Ireland have so far been resilient, but this resilience is not expected to continue.