The activity balance for the three months turned mildly positive after a marginally negative result in the previous one. Balances on tender enquiries, order books and tender price prospects were all better in the than in the second, and employment prospects remained the same.
Compared with the same quarter of 2001, the balances on activity, tender enquiries and tender price prospects were similar, and those for order books and employment prospects were a little worse.
Most respondents reported work-in-hand of between three months and six months in the third quarter. The biggest change was in the civil engineering sector, with the percentage of firms reporting six months of work-in-hand dropping from 42% in the second quarter to 0% in the third.
Construction output was very buoyant in the first half of this year, according to the DTI, up 7.5% in constant prices compared with the same period in 2001. Finally, new orders figures for the third quarter have recently been published, showing a 22% rise on the second quarter in real terms.
The survey is conducted monthly among some 800 firms throughout the UK 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.
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 European Union business surveys. The full survey results and further information on CFR's forecasts and services can be obtained from CFR. Telephone 020-7808 7070 or log on to www.constructionfutures.co.uk.