Snow delays works on site with activity particularly weak in non-residential sector

The value of construction projects starting on site in January was 8% down on the same time last year according to the latest Glenigan Index.

Project starts were delayed by snow, with activity in the non-residential sector being particularly weak due to low confidence in the private commercial and industrial sectors.

The non-residential index for January was 88.1 compared with 102.3 in January 2009. A drop in health and community and amenity projects contributed to the fall.

The forecast increase in private sector projects will be offset by government spending cuts, making for a slow and fragile recovery over the next two years

Alan Wilen

However there are tentative signs that market conditions are now stabilising. A rise in government funded work since April 2009 helped partially offset the impact of weak private sector investment while the flow of education projects has remained firm.

Housing projects recovered well during the autumn, peaking at 27% higher by value year on year in October 2009.

New housing projects were particularly affected by the bad weather resulting in the value of projects starting on site in January being 1% lower than the same time last year, despite an increase in social housing projects.