However much you may have been expecting it, the pace of bad news is overwhelming. Back to back, undiluted and dismal.

The buyers body, CIPS, today reports on construction and unsurprisingly, given the current wave of shocking statistics, its Purchasing Managers Index for the industry plunged to unchartered depths - from an appalling 43.9 in May to a far worse 38.8 in June (50 represents equilibrium).

And in line with other surveys its Employment Index has turned negative. Although this may not come as a surprise, with housebuilders currently shedding jobs like trees shedding leaves in winter. The problem is though that the winter chill is now catching the rest of the construction industry.

Who knows whether it is good news or delusion, but the index for future workload remained positive at 57.6, although it was a survey low (Note that the survey has not captured data on a full-blown recession).

But a trend that must be taken especially seriously is rising costs. The seasonally adjusted Input Prices Index recorded its highest-ever reading of 81.5 - a figure indicative of a significant rate of monthly inflation, says CIPS.

This clearly is not a time to go hell for leather bidding for work. Calm, reflective, cautious management is what is needed here.