All regions displayed negative activity balances, with only four posting improved monthly results: north England, Yorkshire & Humberside, the West Midlands and north-west England. Seven regions experienced negative balances in the three months to January, although of the seven, three did record a monthly improvement in January.
Optimism seems to have evaporated regarding short-term employment prospects, although the balance on tender prices dropped only moderately as firms approach their review periods for the next financial year.
Provisional fourth quarter output data has just been published by the DTI, indicating that 2001 was quite a buoyant year for the construction industry as a whole. In constant prices, output rose 3.5% in 2001 compared with 2000, with increases in activity in all but three sectors – new private housing work, new private industrial work, and public housing repair, maintenance and improvement. The industry is not expected to perform as well this year, with our forecast of about 2%, and some analysts expecting a decline.
This an extract from the monthly focus survey of construction activity undertaken by Construction Forecasting and Research on behalf of the European Commission as part of its suite of harmonised EU business surveys. The full survey results and further information on CFR's forecasts and services can be obtained from CFR by phoning 020-7808 7070 or logging on to www.constructionfutures.co.uk. The survey is conducted monthly among some 800 firms throughout the United Kingdom and the analysis is broken down by size of firm, sector of the 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.