Scotland’s construction sector remains stuck in the doldrums with little prospect for a recovery in the year ahead, a bleak report today warns.
The Scottish Building Federation’s (SBF) latest construction monitor points to an ongoing decline in new orders and further job losses in 2013 as activity remains well below historic levels.
The report, based on the findings from more than 60 firms of varying size, suggests that public sector new work and the housebuilding industry were areas that performed particularly poorly in 2012. It estimates that some 8,000 jobs have been lost in the construction sector over the past 12 months. Although industry confidence has recovered slightly since the middle of the year, it remains firmly in negative territory, the SBF noted.
The trade body’s chief executive, Michael Levack, said 2013 was likely to prove to be “another difficult year” for his members.
“There’s strong evidence here to suggest public sector investment in construction projects has fallen back significantly over the past year,” he said. “What’s more, our members expect this trend to continue into 2013.
“By direct comparison, the private sector is generating more new orders than the public sector. But those firms reporting increased new orders from the private sector are still substantially outnumbered by those who have seen private sector orders decline over the past 12 months as well.”
He added: “Overall, output across all sectors of the industry appears to be shrinking or remaining static.”