There were minor increases in orders and tender enquiries in April. There were more substantial rises, however, in employment figures and tender prices for the month, which would suggest a fairly healthy prognosis for these two indices over the next quarter. The improvement in the tender prices index coincides with the end of the financial year, suggesting that the increase may be the result of price changes being put into place after end-of-year reviews.
The results of our latest survey show that 55% of respondents identified a constraint on activity in April. The main constraints highlighted in the survey were insufficient demand (21%), labour shortages (11%) and finance (8%).
Firms also continue to face pressure from pronounced increases in labour costs, although the growing expense of labour in both building and civil engineering firms has eased off slightly since January.
According to Construction Forecasting and Research's Leading Construction Activity Indicator, which incorporates a range of factors to assess the industry's prospects over the next quarter, growth in the UK's construction industry is expected to slow over the next three months. The indicator is set to fall until July, although an upturn is expected in August as April's rise in orders and tender enquiries feeds through into activity levels.