The mood among the construction industry forecasters appears to be getting gloomier.
Rather than a quick dip back into recession, in the opinion of forecasters the construction industry looks to be facing a more protracted swim through recessionary waters before reaching firm ground and growth again.
Experian downgraded its expectations for growth fairly markedly from its spring to summer forecast. And this follows the Construction Products Association shading down its forecast earlier this month.
Both seem to be far less optimistic about growth in 2012.
Before reading too much into the percentage falls penned into the forecasts, it is important to note that part of the downgrade in the forecasts will likely be down to the rather larger than expected growth rate in 2010.
The former government’s stimulus that brought forward public spending, the restocking of the production pipeline by house builders and some starts on major London prestige office buildings will have all played a part in creating a big surge in work in the mid part of 2010.
This surge in 2010 puts the industry at a higher starting point than might have been expected and in itself this leads to a slower growth rate in future years for a given expectation of work.
Even so, the Experian forecast is more pessimistic. The clear implication in the figures is that the private sector is expected to be slower and weaker in its bounce back to health.
Experian points out that the increasing uncertainty that hangs over the global economy, and consequently that of the UK, will weigh more heavily on construction than the economy as a whole.
And the forecast is explicit in suggesting that there is now a greater spread of risks surrounding its central forecast for the direction of private sector construction.
The downgrades are very evident in the private housing and commercial sectors. These are both sectors that are particularly sensitive to the level confidence within the economy.
This is not to suggest that Experian is forecasting a double-dip recession for the UK economy. Its current forecast for GDP growth this year is 1.4% and 2.0% for next year. This is broadly in line with the consensus of independent forecasts compiled by the Treasury.