Most people in the City shrugged their shoulders in reaction to Monday’s pre-Budget report.

Prices rallied slightly in advance of the report and although most construction stocks ended the day up a few per cent, by Tuesday trading screens were largely red again.

Howard Seymour, an analyst at Numis, pointed out that the £3bn of public spending chancellor Alistair Darling has brought forward on highways, education and social housing was less than 5% of construction output.

He said: “We calculate 50% of it will be refurbishment-related, so we see no major beneficiaries or implications for activity.”

It was even more underwhelming for housebuilders, with little new news since September’s housing package.

As Taylor Wimpey’s share price slipped worryingly towards the 4p mark on Tuesday, a source close to talks between the company and its lenders continued the war of understatement the housebuilder began when it called progress on a refinancing deal “a tad disappointing”. According to the source, the delay had made TW “a bit grumpy” – a lot politer than the reality, no doubt.