The ups and downs at a glance

Current trends
up - Tender prices rose 2% over the past three months and 7.5% over the past year
up - Construction activity expanded for the 29th consecutive month in June
up - Output in 2000 rose for a fifth consecutive year, reaching £69.53bn, or 7.4% of GDP
up - 80% of firms surveyed were having trouble finding bricklayers, plasterers and carpenters
up - Two forecasting bodies positive about continuing growth over the next three years Forecasts
up - Tender price inflation will range from 2.5% to 4.5% in the next twelve months
up - Price rises will be more marked because of the climate change levy and aggregates tax
down - Commercial office work will lessen as tenant interest may fall away
up - Considerable work should be generated by repair and maintenance on social housing
downward - Infrastructure, health and education work is unlikely to come on stream swiftly

How the indices are calculated

Mechanical 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.