Utility work lifts construction projects starts by 6%

Aaron Morby 10 years ago
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A sharp rise in utility projects has helped overall construction project starts rise 6% year-on-year.

The figures for the three months to August show surge in renewable energy projects and confirm that the amp5 water investment round is starting to kick into gear. This saw the value of utility projects starting up jump 24% year on year.

The latest figures from construction information specialist Glenigan come after official Government orders figures slumped in the second quarter of the year.

Glenigan’s year on year comparisons are flattered because of a sharp fall off in projects last August.

James Abraham, economist at Glenigan,said: “A poor August 2010 signalled the end of the 2010’s construction recovery.

The construction industry has seen a decline in year on year project starts since that time due to public sector cuts and weak private sector investment.

He added: “While the return to growth is a positive sign, it is modest growth from a low base.”

“As reported by the CBI in their August Industrial Trends survey, UK manufacturers are enjoying healthy order books and improving expectations for the future.

In line with this increase in sentiment, Glenigan recorded a 15% increase in the underlying value of planning approvals over the six months to July, compared to the same period of 2010.

In addition, the ONS reported an increase in investment by private sector manufacturing firms in new building work over the first quarter of the year.

This has fed through to a growth in industrial project starts – 36% over the three months to August compared to a year ago.

Though the increase is amplified by the comparison to a poor August 2010, we expect industrial building to remain a growing part of the construction industry over the next few months” said Abraham.

The decline in private housing, which has dominated 2011, has bottomed out with modest growth of 1% for the three months to August.

“New build social housing projects will continue to fall due to Government cuts, while Glenigan expects private housing starts to stabilise over the coming months,” added Abraham.

Regionally the South East and South West saw the most significant growth, with the East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Wales all seeing annual growth of over 10%.

In stark contrast the underlying value of project starts in Scotland fell by nearly a third.

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