Construction starts have slumped by 8% over the past 12 months, with the recent snow a significant factor, new research from Glenigan suggests.
The value of construction starts in January was 8% ower than in January 2009 according to the latest information from Glenigan Index.
Project starts were delayed by snow, with activity in the non-residential sector being particularly weak.
The Index monitors the monthly flow of construction projects valued from £100,000 up to £100M.
Economics director at Glenigan, Allan Wilen, said: “Glenigan forecast a gradual recovery over the course of 2010 as private sector confidence grows, however Government spending cuts will remain a drag.
“The industry is bracing itself for further delays with expectations of more snow and sub-zero temperatures in February.
“The forecast increase in private sector projects will be offset by Government spending cuts, making for a slow and fragile recovery over the next two years,” he said.
Civil engineering starts slipped back in January following a surge in the Autumn which saw the value of projects starts in November 2009 31% higher than November 2008 thanks to a surge in rail and road projects that has since lost momentum.
The Glenigan Civil Engineering Index for November 2009 was 113.7 compared to 82.1 in January 2010, just 2% higher than January 2009.
Research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggests that the forthcoming general election could be putting off planned Government capital spending on construction as workloads in all sectors fell towards the end of last year.
The RICS study indicates a slowdown in planned government capital spending.
12% more chartered surveyors reported falling workloads for the final quarter. There was a net balance of 6%reporting falls in the previous quarter and workloads fell for the seventh consecutive quarter.
Private industrial and infrastructure saw more declines, the net balance of chartered surveyors reporting falling workloads to -19% and - 11% respectively.
RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: “The acceleration of capital spending programmes seems to have faltered in recent months and our members’ perception is that this is due to more caution being exhibited by the Government in the approach to the general election.”