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Civils growth slows

Civils workloads are growing at their slowest rate in over two years, according to research.

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association’s Workload Trends Survey showed a balance of just 7% of firms were busier in the third quarter of 2015 than in the same period the prior year.

This was the smallest margin of growth since the second quarter of 2013.

Meanwhile a balance of 90% reported a rise in costs, and almost half of respondents raised concerns over staff availability.

Workloads varied by sector. Declines were reported by a balance of 24% in the local roads sector, 22% in water and sewage, 18% on the railways and 12%working on motorways and trunk roads. Preliminary works and airport schemes saw the biggest rises in work.

Ceca chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “These results raise concerns for the government’s growth agenda.

“We have seen this week that a sluggish construction sector is acting as a drag on Britain’s GDP. This is despite the government’s stated aim of investing in infrastructure to drive growth in the economy.

“By now we would expect to see strong growth, particularly in relation to planned investment in road and rail to meet future capacity demand.

“The fact that workloads are now falling in both these bellwether sectors show that the industry is not yet firing on all cylinders. Ceca will be monitoring this situation closely, and hopes for stronger growth in the months to come as planned government investment bears fruit.”

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