RICS says despite activity still dropping, it was slowed by improvement in public sector workload

Construction workloads are still falling sharply, despite the pace of decline easing, according to the latest data from the RICS.

The body's quarterly survey showed that 26 more surveyors reported a fall than a rise in activity, compared with 45 in the first quarter of the year.

This figure was bolstered by an improvement in public sector work, with workloads actually increasing with an index of 5, meaning more surveyors reported an increase than a decrease in workloads. But all other sectors continued to register decline, albeit at a far slower rate than previous quarters.

However, surveyors were far more optimistic for the third quarter, with an expected figure of -8. But a great number (24 more than those who were not) were still expecting to reduce staff in the next quarter.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “State spending is providing some much needed support for the construction industry with public sector works reaping the benefits. The improvement in news flow also appears to be filtering through to the private housing sector although workloads are still falling. Against this backdrop, the employment picture will deteriorate further with more redundancies likely to be announced in the sector over the balance of this year.”