Civils contractors today warned that the infrastructure sector – a key driver of growth in the UK economy – is at risk of stagnation on the eve of the General Election.
A report published today by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) found that order books in firstquarter of 2017 fell for the first time in four years.
CECA’s Workload Trends Survey found that 9 per cent of firms, on balance, reported decreasing order books. Just 5per cent of firms expect workloads to increase in the next twelve months, the lowest percentage expecting higherworkloads since 2013 Q1. In the same quarter growth in actual work on the ground fell from 11% to 8%, on balance.
Commenting, CECA Director of External Affairs Marie-Claude Hemming said: “These results are extremely concerning. “They show that not only is the rate of growth in infrastructure workloads currently sluggish, but that order books have moved into the red, indicating that the sector is at real risk of stagnation. “Unless action is taken, our sector runs the risk of falling into a recession at exactly the time that we need it to be driving growth in the economy.
“As the country prepares to go to the polls next month, we call on all parties to commit to the projects outlined in the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, and ensure steps are taken to boost investment in all regions of England, Scotland and Wales.
“Failure to act could undermine the sector’s ability to deliver. This will imperil the British economy at the very time we need this key driver of economic growth to secure the future of the UK.”