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Wet weather causes 20% decline in January project starts

Generic_Sites construction cranes projects activity
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Project starts in the three months to January 2016 were 20 per cent lower than in the same period a year earlier, according to data from business intelligence provider Glenigan

The dip in starts was the largest fall the industry has seen since 2013. Project starts have now posted a fall in 10 out of the last 12 months.

Of all sectors covered by the data, only office construction saw project starts edge up, with declines reported across residential, non-residential and civil engineering work.

The AJ’s sister title Construction News reported that the impact of this winter’s poor weather had been felt across the industry, with civil engineering starts in the three months to January falling by 43 per cent to hit their lowest level for more than a year. Elsewhere, non-residential starts dipped to their joint-lowest level for 12 months.

Regionally, starts dipped again in the capital, following an 11 per cent fall in the three months to December 2015. A fall in project starts was also reported in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

However, all three northern regions and both the West and East Midlands reported growth in project starts for the three months to January 2016. In the three months to December, only the East Midlands, the East of England and the North-east reported growth in starts.

Commenting on the data, Glenigan economics director Allan Wilén said: ’The atrocious weather has clearly halted project starts.

‘This has exacerbated an already evident softening in workloads, with new construction activity now in the worst period of decline since crashing in 2009.’

He added that weak levels of R&M output have contributed to the slowdown in the industry.

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