In this month's market round-up, we report that growth is likely to slow down over the next three months – but don't worry, it should pick up in a couple of years or so …
Construction activity growth slowed slightly between August and September, with the activity index falling one point to 57. The employment and tender enquiries indices were also down this month, although the orders and tender prices indices rose.

Overall, constraints on activity levels saw no change between August and September, but those citing insufficient demand as a reason fell by 4%, and those citing labour shortages rose by 3%.

Growth in the UK's construction industry is expected to slow over the next three months according to CFR's Leading Construction Activity Indicator. The indicator, which provides a short-term forecast of activity levels in the construction industry, is likely to slip from 55 in October to 53 by January, suggesting a slight slowdown in the rate of growth.

The northern regions are forecast to display the strongest growth in construction activity over the coming years, with activity levels good across all sectors. In 2003, growth of 13% is expected, slowing to 10% in 2004 and 7% in 2005. The central regions are also forecast a robust future, with growth of 9% estimated for 2003, 7% in 2004 and 5% in 2005.

Growth in the southern regions is expected to pick up over the forecast period, following a drastic drop to 1% this year from 13% in 2002. With a recovery in commercial construction anticipated, we forecast growth to pick up in 2004 and 2005 to 3% and 7% respectively.

The survey is conducted each month among some 800 firms throughout the UK and the analysis is broken down by size of firm, sector of industry and region. The results are weighted to reflect the size of respondents. In addition to the results published in this extract, all of the monthly topics are available by sector, region and size of firm.

In addition, quarterly questions seek information on materials costs, labour costs and work in hand.

*An index measure of 50 indicates no change, a measure greater than 50 an increase and a measure less than 50 a decrease


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