Davis Langdon report hints at subdued growth in construction in 2008

A new report has found that worldwide construction activity grew by just 3% in 2007, compared with almost 5% the previous year.

Compiled by consultant Davis Langdon, from a survey of international construction trends, the survey hints at subdued growth of about 3% in the global market in 2008, with similar growth rates forecast for the next three years.

David Crosthwaite

China and India are expected to see the biggest growth prospects through to 2010, with strong results also expected in Vietnam, Korea, Venezuela, Egypt, the UAE and Poland.

David Crosthwaite, senior Davis Langdon consultant and author of the report, said: “The construction market in China and its major cities are now the focus of worldwide attention with the UAE, and Dubai in particular standing out in terms of short to medium term growth prospects.”

In the UK, the housing market is beginning to slow in response to similar weakening in both the US economy and its housing market. However, the report says higher levels of spending on public housing are likely to offset any dramatic declines in overall output.

It also suggests that the infrastructure sector should experience some growth in the UK. After a period of stagnation, this sector is forecast to exhibit significant increases, with some major projects coming through the pipeline including the East London Line, Cross Rail, Thameslink and Shellhaven.

In Europe, the non-residential sector has seen the best turn-around, particularly within the industrial construction sub-sector. Germany, in particular, showed the greatest improvement - the construction sector there is finally recovering after a decade long slump.

The annual report is broken down by region and provides a review and outlook for the construction industry in Europe, the Middle East, the UK, China, Asia Pacific, Australasia, the Americas, Africa and India with an overall worldwide commentary.

Crosthwaite said: “In the longer term, the report highlights an optimistic view of growth prospects in Asia with increasing pessimism about western Europe, east and central Europe, Africa and South America.”