Construction starts rose 10.5% in the first quarter of 2010, thanks mainly to supermarket developments and residential schemes.
That’s according to construction consultancy Glenigan which found that the value of supermarket work was double that of a year ago and private housing project starts were 41% up on the same period in 2009.
Glenigan is now hoping that the private sector recovery will offset the expected cuts in public sector work. Economics director Allan Wilen said: “The construction industry will be looking to a continued rise in private sector work over the coming months with public sector expenditure cuts looming.”
Civil engineering project starts re-bounded following a weak start to 2010. The Glenigan Civil Engineering Index was down four per cent in April 2010, compared to 36% and 24% in February and March 2010 respectively.
Looking ahead Wilen said: “A further strengthening is anticipated over the forecast period (to Q2 2012). Weak industrial and office sectors will remain a drag on project starts over the next few months, however conditions in the industrial and commercial property markets have moved off the low point reached in the first half of 2009.
“We can see that housebuilders are keen to capitalise in recent improvements in market conditions, although weak household earning and consumer confidence combined with limited mortgage availability will restrict the pace of recovery in new house sales and project starts during the remainder of 2010.”