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  • Glenigan Index for the three months to December up 9% compared to the same period a year ago. 
  • Continued strength in starts from the residential sector joined by a positive turnaround in fortunes of the hotel and leisure sector.

Underlying construction remained strong in the final month of the year, the Glenigan index of project starts was up 9% for the three months to December compared to the same three month period of 2011. In a turnaround the hotels and leisure sector recorded the strongest performance from any sector in the period, starts increased by over 70% compared to the same three month period last year, after seeing significant declines over the summer. 

“The run-up to the new year has been awash with activity in the hotels and leisure sector, we have not only seen a number of large high profile projects begin in recent months but the flow of repair and maintenance has also boosted underlying work in the final months of the year. A number of projects such as those related to the construction of the new Centre Parcs at Woburn have in the past few months helped push starts for the sector into growth for the full year.” Commented Glenigan Economist Andrew Whiffin. 

Glenigan Index December 2012

The housing sector continued to be strong in December; private housing starts were up 20% compared to the three months to December last year. Social housing new work also continued to be strong, up 48% for the same period, the sector has benefitted in recent months from a greater than usual amount of refurbishment and maintenance work.

In other news from this month’s index the slump in retail activity over the past few months continued in December, starts were down 33% compared to the three months to December last year. “Retail sector projects have been dominated by the supermarket chains in 2012; their expansion programmes drove growth over the first half of the year and it is the throttling back of these programmes that has led to a slowdown as we head into 2013,” commented Whiffin. 

The slowdown in public sector new work also continued in November; education starts were down 22%, health starts down 21%. A number of measures announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement should benefit the education sector next year and combined with the on-going Building Schools for Future programme we should see project starts pick up into 2013.

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