Construction sector under pressure as number of starts drop
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development
The construction sector remains under pressure with the amount of project starts seeing a drop, according the latest Glenigan Index.
Project starts were down 15 percent for the three months to February compared with a year ago.
According to the Index, the fall in activity came from sectors that had previously boosted project starts at the end of last year.
The largest decline was in the industrial sector, where starts fell 56 percent compared to the same period last year.
Private sector falls were contrasted by health and education starts, which saw new work increase by 21 percent and seven percent respectively, pushing the level of starts above that seen in the preceding month.
Glenigan economist Andrew Whiffin said: "The poor start to the year continued in February and in stark contrast to what we saw in 2012 it is the private sector that leads the fall. Starts were weak across the board but the industrial sector exerted the largest downward pressure on the index, starts 56 percent down on a year ago. Last year new work in the sector was driven by starts from the light industrial and warehousing subsectors, but so far this year starts in these two sectors have dropped away.
"Despite government cutbacks public sector organisations do still have some resources available for capital spending. Industry activity has reflected this with increases in refurbishment and improvement work rather than building new, as organisations make the most of what is available."
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