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Infrastructure to lead construction recovery

The construction industry is to face even harsher economic times ahead, according to updated forecasts published this week by the Construction Products Association (CPA).

The CPA predicts that overall the industry will see a sharp deterioration in prospects and does not expect any significant increase of construction output until 2012. According to its forecast, output will fall by a record 16% in 2009 − an adjustment on its April forecast which indicated a fall of 12%.

Prospects for 2010 have also declined with the CPA now forecasting a fall of 5% compared to the previous forecast which showed a fall of 3.4%.

But infrastructure spending is expected to fare slightly better, falling 4.5% this year but then recovering in 2010 and exceeding 2008 outputs in 2011.

“This year we expect the industry to suffer its largest fall ever experienced in a single year.”

Michael Ankers, CPA

“Prospects for the industry have deteriorated significantly over the last three months with new orders for construction work falling at a record rate,” said CPA chief executive Michael Ankers.

“This year we expect the industry to suffer its largest fall ever experienced in a single year and with a further fall in output in 2010, output will have fallen faster in these two years than any of the previous post war recessions.

“The impact of the recession has already been devastating, with hundreds of thousands of jobs lost and people with key skills leaving the industry. Manufacturing capacity has also been severely reduced and lack of skills and capacity will be a serious constraint on the pace at which the industry can recover.”

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