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Construction drops - but not as fast as before says RICS

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Construction workloads are declining less rapidly, according to the latest figures from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

The RICS revealed that of all the sectors housing construction is falling at the highest rate - but the overall rate of decline is slowing.

Over the first three months of this year, the survey found that 45 per cent of surveyors reported a fall rather than a rise in overall workloads, up from 47 per cent in the previous quarter.

Both private and public housing saw a slight improvement in the number of surveyors reporting falling workloads, with 49 per cent more surveyors reporting a fall than a rise in private housing, up from 66 per cent,

‘This slight easing we are seeing in both public and private housing is broadly in line with the figures coming from the Government on the number of housing starts, which saw a small rise in the first quarter of 2009, and could be aligned to recent signs of a gentle pick-up in activity in the housing market,’ said RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn.

The outlook for the next twelve months shows little change. Expectations for future workloads improved slightly in the first quarter, with 38 per cent more surveyors expecting a fall than a rise, up from 45 at the end of 2008.  The net balance of surveyors expecting employment levels to fall remained fairly constant with 46 per cent more surveyors expecting employment levels to fall. However 72 per cent more surveyors expected profits to be down over the coming months. 

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