The survey looked at the audited financial results of Britain's 2000 largest companies. It showed that industry overall suffered its fifth consecutive quarter of falling profit – the longest continuous decline since the recession of the 1990s.
Meanwhile, another survey has found that confidence among small and medium-sized construction firms is high.
The Bibby Financial Services survey of 300 businesses with a turnover of between £50 000 and £1m found that 42% intended to buy plant and machinery and 38% planned to hire staff. A fifth of businesses surveyed said they would be moving to larger premises.
Adding to the good news is a profit warning analysis by Ernst & Young. This shows that construction companies issued six profit warnings in the last quarter of 2000, two fewer than the third.