The latest construction output forecast from the materials producers body Construction Products Association suggests pain deferred for the industry.
The revised view is that this year will be less bad than the forecasters first thought, but next year will be worse and the recovery expected in 2013 will be weaker.
The main thinking behind this gentle revision is that the fall off in public spending on construction is happening slower than was previously expected, having interpreted the government spending plans.
This slower fall has lifted the figures popped into the forecast for the public sector contribution for construction in 2011 and 2012.
But when we look at the expectations for the private sector we see that the forecasters are less bullish about the recovery there.
So, for instance, the previous forecast in the spring saw the giant commercial sector in growth this year. This hoped-for recovery has now been pushed forward in the forecast to 2013.
Add all this together and we see that over the forecast period to 2013 the prospects for construction overall have diminished slightly in the eyes of the Construction Products Association forecasting panel, although there is more bullishness in the projections presented for 2014 and 2015.
The risks to the forecast remain predominantly on the downside, but the concerns over default on government debt in the Eurozone and fears over inflation have been added to the worrisome list of downside risks.
But there is some compensation for the fearful. The forecasters have added an upside risk this time with the possibility that the UK government will not be able or willing to cut as quickly as it had hoped. This would mean an even gentler slide into recession allowing more time for the struggling private sector to perk up and pick up the slack.
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