optimism among contractors is the highest it has been for a year, according to a Construction Confederation survey.
The Construction Trends Survey found that contractors reported an increase in output, a marked improvement in tendering success and further rises in enquiries in the last quarter of last year.

This is a dramatic improvement in outlook compared with the third quarter, when almost every indicator was negative.

The survey found a balance of 19% of firms reported higher output while a year-high balance of 37% expected output to increase this year.

Capacity utilisation increased a little among housebuilding (60% of firms at or near full capacity) and was steady at 45% for civil engineering contractors.