Only the retail sector is more gloomy about growth prospects

Construction bosses’ are more likely to be focusing on survival rather than growth, according to a survey of company directors.

Over half of construction directors, 52%, said that survival was their immediate priority while only 30% said growth was the prime objective.

The research by Santander Corporate Banking found construction bosses more cautious about growth than other industries. Over the next five years construction bosses expected to increase turnover by 74% on average, compared with 102% in other sectors. Only the retailers were more gloomy about growth prospects - on average they expected to grow by only 52%.

Construction bosses were more likely to be focus on reducing costs than other sectors (37% compared to average of 29%), but while industry leaders were keen to cut back, 20% claimed that hiring and retaining quality staff was a key obstacle to growing the business.