CECA: Sharp drop in civil contractors’ workload sparks fear for economy

civil contractors, CECA,
© John Casey

Civil contractors experienced a sharp drop in workloads in the last quarter of 2018, according to a survey published by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA)

Members of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association reported that after two consecutive quarters of growth, workloads fell in 2018 Q4, according to 3% of British firms, on balance.

CECA’s Workload Trends Survey has been published continually since 2005. The most recent survey found that 7 out of 10 sectors in the industry reported falling workloads, order books decreased for 8% of firms, on balance, and only 4% of firms expect increased workloads during the next year – the lowest balance in six years.

Commenting, CECA Director of External Affairs Marie-Claude Hemming said: “These disappointing results have come as a shock, as we had seen improvement in our members’ workloads in recent quarters.

“Activity in the infrastructure sector in England appears to be relatively robust, although elsewhere in the UK the picture remains mixed.

“In Scotland, activity has been lower compared to other regions due to the completion of major projects in roads and energy.

“Overall, these results show that the infrastructure sector is failing to perform to its full capacity, which given its crucial role in driving economic growth bodes ill for the UK economy.

“At a time where continuing political uncertainty has undermined business confidence, we hope the Government will make every effort to unlock schemes around the country and ensure our members can deliver the projects that underpin economic growth.”


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