AFTER MORE than a year of deepening gloom over the level of new infrastructure work, optimism is starting to return, according to the Construction Confederation.
A majority of contractors polled for the latest CC Construction Trends Survey now believe they will see improvements in output over the next 12 months.
The findings go some way to supporting the Civil Engineering Contractors' Association workload survey prediction of expanding workload (NCE last week).
Construction Confederation president Sir Martin Laing said the strong economy and the increasing emphasis placed on transport by the Government held long term promise for civils contractors.
'Perceived changes in the Government's attitude to road building may be enough to create a change in contractors' perception,' he commented.
But he said that increasing optimism had yet to manifest itself in higher levels of work.
Construction trends shows firms reporting declining infrastructure project output, enquiries, work in hand and anticipated output for the next quarter. However, a downward trend in tenders has been broken.
Repair and maintenance projects, while increasing and likely to yield sustained long term workload, remain subdued.
Construction trends survey, Quarter 4 1999. Details from the Construction Confederation, tel: (020) 7608 5000.