The RICS construction survey provides a valuable early indicator of workload trends, so its latest figures showing the slump widening out from house building is cause for concern.

You don't see too many charts showing sentiment collapse as fast as it appears to have looking at the charts produced by the RICS in its construction survey.

Sliced by sector or regionally the charts look much the same. From bubbling along nicely a year ago when the majority were looking at growth, the proportion of surveyors now seeing a downturn is either rapidly closing on or fast exceeding half.

There may be a bias towards building work in the survey, so the relatively more buoyant infrastructure sector may be underplayed. But with surveyors among the first to sniff the ill winds, the confidence I still hear from contractors in the market may just be down to timing.