The buyers' body CIPS remained muted about the prospects for construction despite a slight lift in the construction industry.

The main construction index published by CIPS rose to 30.9 for March up from a series low of 27.8 in February. That means that things were not getting as worse as quickly as they were, but they are still getting worse.

The data told us little we didn't already know and the normal order prevailing within the sector splits - house building bad, civils not so bad - was maintained.

Of more interest was the caution in the interpretation of the data given by the CIPS.

This I feel is sensible, particularly after the commentary on the January figures failed, in my view at the time, to caution sufficiently over green shoots when the index rose markedly. CIPS was rather chastened when the index plunged to a new series low in the following month.

But what is evident from the latest commentary is that a high level of bullishness remains within the industry itself.

A quote from the commentary that caught my eye is: "Although still very subdued by historical standards, sentiment amongst UK constructors remained positive in March. Reasons for optimism included current contract negotiations, business investments and marketing activities. However, many companies simply believed that conditions cannot continue to deteriorate."

I have to say that if "many companies simply believe that conditions cannot continue to deteriorate" their shareholders should be seriously considering changing the management.

We are about to see the next set of projections for industry activity from the various industry forecasters and I can tell you now that they will paint a bleaker forecast than they did just a few months ago, when the forecasters were of a mind that conditions were worsening at a rapid pace.

Whether things do or don't get worse, the balance of risks is hugely on the negative side. It is not a question of being optimistic or pessimistic, only the reckless would ignore the possibility that worse is to come.