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Construction recovers from tough winter

Glenigan research shows a year-on-year decline in the underlying value of project starts during the three months to April 2011, which masks an increase in new work from the moribund levels experienced over the turn of the year.
James Abraham, an economist at Glenigan, said: 'An increase in the underlying value of project starts over March and April took the index to levels not seen since July. However, weakness across the industry, caused in part by reduced government spending and a faltering housing market, meant that new work was still significantly below last year.

'Glenigan recorded a 21 per cent year-on-year fall in the underlying value of new project starts during the three months to April compared with a year ago. Much of the government spending on social housing and education which boosted the industry last year is now absent.'

Glenigan's non-residential index contracted by 14 per cent. Mr Abraham again: 'While Government spending cuts ensured a modest decline in the value of education and community and amenity new work, health starts were boosted after a large hospital build commenced in Northern Ireland.'

The value of retail work was also on the rise. 'Supermarket chains are continuing to invest a significant amount into new premises, and April benefited from a number of such developments.'

By contrast, the underlying value of office starts fell by 31 per cent, while industrial starts were 14 per cent down.

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12 May 2011


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