Construction braced for further decline

The UK construction sector will not begin to grow until 2014 at the earliest, according to forecasts from the Construction Products Association (CPA).

Its predictions are based on the fact the private sector has so far failed to take up the slack created by a slowdown in public sector spending on construction projects, including a significant reduction in PFI projects.

The CPA called on ministers to address the problem by bringing forward more investment in public construction projects to prevent the construction sector dragging the country into a double-dip recession.

"Although government is committed to cut capital expenditure by 20% over the next four years, the hoped-for robust recovery from the private sector, to compensate for these cuts, is not materialising," explained CPA chief executive Michael Ankers.

He called on Chancellor George Osborne to use November's autumn statement as an opportunity to give direction to the construction industry.

It is expected that the 29 November statement will be combined with the launch of the second National Infrastructure Plan from Treasury unit Infrastructure UK.

However, hope that the plan will deliver a new pipeline of work appears to be fading, with sources close to the unit suggesting it will be little more than an update on the progress of the first plan.