My good friend Martin Hewes has just past me some details of the latest Hewes & Associates forecast for new work construction output.


It will not make for comfortable reading if you happen to be trading heavily in Yorkshire & Humberside.

hewes regional output forecast 12 May 2009.gif

That region is set to be the hardest hit by the chill winds of the construction recession, says the forecast. In cash terms it sees a drop of 23% this year in construction output (new work only), with a further 6% fall in 2010.

The region is set to be hit hard by the collapse in house building and commercial work and is less likely to see the same rise in infrastructure as the average for Great Britain as a whole.

In contrast, the gusts that are blowing through the construction industry are expected to be weakest in East Anglia. Here the industry will suffer a much milder 11% fall in work this year and just 2% in 2010 before activity picks up in 2011. Much of the relative buoyancy in the region will be down to a strong performance in the infrastructure sector.

But what is clear from the forecast is that the stormy weather will be pretty widespread over the next year or two, as is illustrated by the graph comparing output of new work in 2008 with the forecast for 2011.

But while the graph gives an overview of the story there is plenty of subplot in the finer detail. The message in the figures, Martin suggested to me, is "dig and delve to 2012".