The ups and downs at a glanceCurrent trends
A fall in tender prices of 0.5% last quarter ends the run of five successive rises
Demand for labour has stabilised and supply is easing in most areas
Construction output rose 1.5% last year and is 10% higher than five years ago
The rate of output growth fell slightly in the second half of 2000
Profit margins are rising, partly thanks to less use of competitive tendering
More firms expect activity to rise over the next year than have for three years
New orders bounced back in January and February, up 9% on a year ago Forecasts
Tender prices are expected to rise by 35% this year, 36% the next
Total output forecast will increase 2.0-2.5% this year and 2.5-3.0% in 2002, so long as public non-housing projects compensate for a slowing private sector
Retail is set for a boost as the supermarket chains launch expansion plans
Most growth will be in repair and maintenance with new build up less than 1%
The US slowdown could seriously affect construction workload in the UK
How the indices are calculatedMechanical cost index
The MCI is based on labour rates agreed by the mechanical industry’s wage body, the JCCHVDEI, and materials prices from the Office for National Statistics.
Electrical cost index
The ECI is compiled from materials data from the Office for National Statistics and labour costs agreed by the electrical industry’s wage body, the JIBECI.
Building cost index
The BCI measures movement in contractors’ labour and materials costs. It is compiled from nationally agreed labour rates and materials prices from the ONS.
Tender price index
DL&E’s index is compiled by analysis of successful tenders worth more than £250,000. It includes movement in wage rates, discounts, plant costs, overheads and profits.