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11th February 2013
Underlying value of construction projects starting on site. (Excludes individual projects of more than £100 million and framework agreements).
The community and amenity sector has suffered as local authorities and government departments have diverted capital spending away to more politically sensitive areas. The value of underlying project starts fell by 26% last year. The sharpest year on year declines were seen in the first half of the year. The value of project starts during the final quarter was 1% down on a year earlier, pointing to a stabilisation of sector activity, albeit at a low level. Certainly political priorities and budgetary constraints suggest that sector activity will remain weak in the near term.
However, recent detailed planning approvals data provides some encouragement: The value of approvals during the three months to November was 73% up a year earlier. This growing development pipeline is expected to stabilise the flow of project starts this year, with firmer growth subsequently returning in 2014.
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