Slump in infrastructure knocks new orders by 10%

Aaron Morby 9 years ago

Construction new orders for the first quarter of 2013 fell 10% compared to the previous three months, tripped by a big fall in infrastructure.

The latest official new order figures showed a marked rise in private housing, but this was far overshadowed by slumping infrastructure orders, chopped in half or £1.6bn in cash terms.

Alasdair Reisner, director of external affairs for the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said: “It is important to exercise caution when dealing with a single set of figures, and it should be noted that these statistics do not necessarily reflect recent results of CECA’s own Workload Trends survey.

“Nonetheless, the sharp decline in new orders in infrastructure should create a degree of caution.

“It is particularly worrying that it appears that workloads have fallen across all elements of infrastructure, including in the rail sector, which has prospered recently.

“Traditionally the first quarter has also tended to provide relatively strong orders in our sector, so today’s poor figures come as somewhat of a surprise.

“It is vital that all efforts are made to ensure that today’s numbers represent an anomaly, and that the sector returns to growth in orders as soon as possible, supporting employment in our sector and improvements in the wider economy.”

Dr Noble Francis, Economics Director at the Construction Products Association said: “Recent GDP figures have pointed to signs of growth in the overall economy, but construction has continued to face very challenging conditions with output already 7% lower than a year ago.

“Today’s new orders figures reflect these continuing difficulties.”

He said: “Most encouraging were indications of growth in the private housing market.

“Government policies – particularly FirstBuy, Funding for Lending and the recently announced Help to Buy – are giving major house builders the confidence to build.

“Because private housing has a short time-lag between orders and output, these new orders should lead to a further rise in housing activity this year.

But he warned that it remained of greater concern that there had been a 50% drop in the infrastructure sector since the previous quarter and the 39% fall compared to Q1 last year.

This is against a backdrop of regular and enthusiastic pronouncements from Government over the last two years, such as the Chancellor’s £5bn capital investment ‘boost’ in last year’s Autumn Statement, £20bn in new private investment in infrastructure and a further £5.5bn capital investment ‘boost’ in December.

He said: “The government must do better at translating such infrastructure announcements into new orders and real activity on the ground.

“Those aimed at housing are clearly delivering a beneficial effect; infrastructure must match this if we are to have a sustained economic recovery.”

Latest news

Landsec eyes £825m Glasgow Buchanan Galleries rebuild

Glasgow's mammoth shopping mall could be demolished for mixed-use city quarter
5 hours ago

Mace lands £300m London court and police complex

Main construction works to start on Fleet Street site this autumn
8 hours ago

Balfour Beatty names new investment arm chief

Leo Quinn promotes former major projects finance director Gavin Russell
8 hours ago

Spanish giant lands deal to build £683m waste power plant

New plant will turn black bin bag waste into electricity
10 hours ago

M1 fraud probe exposes contract management problems

M1 J13-16 investigation finds £320,000 of central barrier scrap metal went missing
15 hours ago

Beaumont Morgan Developments goes into administration

Begbies Traynor now in charge of £47m turnover Manchester contractor
15 hours ago

Green light for major overhaul of Surrey pharma campus

Kier and Mace bidding for revamp project with three storey glulam building at its heart
16 hours ago

Morgan Sindall hires Crossrail safety director

Carole Bardell-Wise joins infrastructure business as SHEQ Director.
16 hours ago

Galliford Try bags £28m Dover inland border control facility

Major inland border facility to be built alongside the A2 outside of Dover
15 hours ago

Plans go in for £280m Leeds Whitehall Riverside scheme

Major office and flats scheme to be built next to River Aire
14 hours ago

Roofer dies in six metre plunge through asbestos sheets

Court hears no safety nets were fitted on site
1 day ago

Subbies stop working for Beaumont Morgan Developments

Manchester based contractor was delivering Fortis Quay for associate development company
2 days ago

Gove threatens ban on cladding suppliers failing to pay for retrofits

Cladding and insulation suppliers now in firing line for cash for £9bn post-Grenfell remediation bill
2 days ago

Bill for £22bn HS2 extension to Manchester goes to Parliament

52-mile extension of HS2 to Manchester via Manchester Airport will support 17,500 construction jobs
2 days ago

Galliard scoops up trio of sites for schemes worth £265m

Sites in Redbridge, Ipswich and Milton Keynes to be developed
2 days ago

Plans in for 350-flat Salford student scheme

Developer X1 hopes to start 15-storey building later this year
2 days ago

Green light for Birmingham Paradise landmark hotel

17-storey hotel will be the 'cornerstone' of Phase 2
5 days ago

Structural steel price jumps another £50 a tonne

British Steel blames New Year's price hike on continuing high product costs
5 days ago

Enabling works start at £400m Manchester First Street

Downing to start main construction in March of three resi buildings rising up to 45 storeys
5 days ago

Former BAM Nuttall chief to join Murphy

Adrian Savory to start new role as director of Major Projects division next month
5 days ago

Bouygues set for London Tustin Estate 700-home rebuild

Phased building programme to start towards the end of the year
5 days ago

Safety horror show on housing site leads to director ban

Court hears contractor ignored multiple prohibition and improvement notices
5 days ago

JV North calls up local firms for £250m new home works

Framework for home building projects worth up to £2m
5 days ago

Kier more than halves debts to below £200m

Kier chief reports steady progress in first six months of trading
6 days ago

Barhale boosts funds as it looks to rebuild turnover

Contractor confident as water companies ramp-up spending plans
6 days ago

HS2 labour agency looks to float on AIM

£23m turnover labour supply business looks to raise funds for expansion
6 days ago

Kane scores £29m M&E deal with Willmott Dixon

Off site works to play crucial role in major London estate contract
6 days ago

Graham secures third Audley retirement village

Work starts on Audley Villages site at Scarcroft, West Yorkshire.
6 days ago

Keltbray wins first deal for former nmcn infrastructure arm

Hull waste processing contract for rescued division
6 days ago

50 firms win £750m decarbonisation framework

Fusion21 framework to target 'whole building' works on homes and schools
7 days ago

Contractor services