Economic forecasts reveal â€˜sickeningâ€™ fall in output for 2009 and a long struggle to regain lost ground
UK construction output will drop 2% in 2010 before making a shallow recovery over the next two years, according to the latest data from Experian.
The economic consultantâ€™s Construction Forecasts report, released today, predicts that output will fall 1.9% this year, but rise 1.1% in 2011 and 2.4% in 2012.
The prediction is more optimistic than that produced by the Construction Products Association (CPA), which this week forecast a fall of 3.1% for 2010, followed by rises of 0.5% and 0.4% in 2011 and 2012.
Tony Williams, a construction analyst who helped compile the Experian forecast, and who runs consultancy firm Building Value, said the suggestion of a shallow recovery was not a good one for the industry.
He said: â€œFor me, 1 or 2% either side of zero is pretty much flat and thatâ€™s sickening. Weâ€™re going to have worked for a decade to be back to where we were at 2002 levels. Itâ€™s pretty depressing. If it werenâ€™t for the Olympics and infrastructure, imagine the situation weâ€™d be in.â€
Despite this assessment, Williams said there were encouraging flickers in the commercial market. â€œThe buying and selling of real estate is going pretty well now and rents in the City have just risen, which is a good sign. Itâ€™s just going to be a long wait.â€
The CPA forecast followed a 12% drop in construction output in 2009, the largest fall in a single year since records began in 1955.