Almost half of industry leaders say the best opportunities are in energy sector

Almost half of construction leaders expect energy to provide the best growth opportunities for construction in 2012, according to KPMG’s Global Construction Survey.

While the industry globally expects growth this year, KPMG warned economic uncertainty and debt issues were still major concerns for firms and investors.

A perceived lack of government policies and leadership to drive infrastructure investment were seen as the biggest barriers, KPMG said.

But optimism remained widespread, with almost half (49%) expecting to increase their backlog orders in the next 12 months.

According to 41% of construction leaders, the energy sector will provide the biggest opportunities for growth this year.

An overwhelming 80% of investors say they are very concerned about governments’ ability to drive infrastructure spending and see lack of leadership as a barrier to investment.

Richard Threlfall, UK head of KPMG’s infrastructure, building & construction practice, said:  “This year could see the construction industry in the UK and around the globe start to change direction significantly as the energy sector grows as a source of income for the industry.

“As a result, the demand for firms and individuals with energy sector-specific engineering and construction skills will rise as power projects proliferate.

“With austerity policies in many countries constraining the scope for public sector spending, it is vital to create an environment that encourages private sector investment.

“As governments around the world seek to create 21st century infrastructure, they need to create an environment that encourages private sector investment.

“This means addressing regulatory and legislative barriers and showing long-term commitment.”