Transport Infrastructure Specialists

Civil Contractors Celebrate Commercial Climb

Civil contractors finally have something to celebrate as the latest industry figures reveal a strong increase in output not seen since May 2007.

Figures released by commercial developers Savills from its latest industry survey show a rise of 25.9% in the private sector and 1.4% in public new-build activity. And in the warehousing and industrial markets, a 26.3% increase to 32.6% was recorded in July, which, together with additional strong showings in other sectors meant that July 2013 was the highest month for commercial construction output for over 5-years.

Civil contractors were particularly buoyed by the news that civil engineering projects are experiencing solid expansion, and Savills feel that the improved economic conditions, new business activity, an easing of the restrictions on lending and a renewed customer confidence will lead to further improvements into the rest of 2013.

The survey questioned civil contractors and other construction specialists in the office, retail, leisure and industrial sectors about their thoughts in the commercial sector, and more than a quarter of respondents said they felt optimistic for the future.

The positive news follows hot on the heels of similar findings from influential financial company Markit and are in line with the National Institute for Economic and Social Forecast’s figures, who both reported upturns in construction activity throughout July. And the sector as a whole has expanded in the last 3-months after years of sustained down turns, and is now helping the broader economy start to pick-up.

Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, which conducted the survey, said: “July’s survey highlights a new wave of optimism across the UK construction sector, with companies reporting a pace of expansion in excess of anything seen over the past three years.

“The swing back to output growth broadened to include commercial and civil engineering activity during July, although housing construction remains the one thing crucial to the sector’s strong upturn at present.”