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Infrastructure starts fell this summer

Infrastructure project starts were down by more than a quarter this summer, according to figures released today.

Economics unit Glenigan reported that £736M of infrastructure work got underway between 1 June and 31 August, excluding very small or very large schemes as well as those from framework agreements.

This was down 28% from the same period a year earlier.

The future picture was barely any cheerier, with the value of infrastructure work receiving planning approval in the three months to 31 July down 23% from the previous year.

Across all sectors of the construction industry, starts were down 8% and planning approvals were up 13%.

It was a mixed picture around the country. The North East saw the biggest rise in construction activity, with starts up 83%, while Scotland had the worst time of it, with starts down 31% in the same period.

Glenigan economics director Allan Wilén said: “The hard-to-call election continued to cast a shadow over the construction industry for much of the summer.

“However, the latest Glenigan starts data shows the commercial and private housing sectors coming back to life, and we expect a similarly strong September to drag starts overall back into growth for the third quarter.”

The Construction Products Association last month said the infrastructure sector could double in size within five years.

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