Chief executives in construction are more confident about revenue growth than their counterparts in other sectors, according to research by Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Six out of 10 engineering and construction chiefs in PWC’s global survey said they were “very confident” about growth over the next year, with the figure rising to nine out of 10 over a three-year period.

Fifty-six per cent said they were more confident about growth than a year ago, with the overall level of confidence higher than in other industries, including manufacturing.

Geographical expansion is viewed as the main opportunity to generate growth, with central and eastern Europe and the Middle East predicted as hotspots for acquisitions.

Only 12% anticipate private equity and venture capital fuelling growth, with 81% feeling internal cash will finance it.

Despite this confidence, more than 70% were concerned about skills shortages, costs and energy and commodity prices.

Jonathan Hook, global engineering and construction leader at PWC, said: “Resourcing rather than securing work is the biggest challenge. This, coupled with materials inflation at about 6% per year, suggests that it has never been more important to price projects effectively.”