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Mixed forecasts for construction growth

The latest Office for National Statistics data for February suggest that construction activity fell by 0.9 per cent between January and February. However, figures from the Construction Products Association (CPA) are at odds with the ONS data. It concluded that construction activity was up during the first two months of the year and has forecast a 5.5 per cent rise for the spring 2015 period. It said this would be fuelled by more activity in private house building, plus infrastructure and commercial activity. However, the CPA said the growth rate is expected to slow in the next two months as a result of the uncertainty generated by the forthcoming General Election. According to consultants Glenigan, much of the construction industry feels that its needs are not being addressed by the major parties in their election campaigns. Fewer than one in three of those questioned for the report said construction was being given sufficient attention by the political parties. Richard Morey, from events company Media 10, which organises UK Construction Week, said: “The survey results are interesting because they appear to show that the industry feels let down by the main political parties. Despite the fact that construction has been the main driver behind the UK’s economic recovery, the needs of the industry have been given very little attention in the run up to the election.” Meanwhile, the Construction Industry Council also called for greater attention to be focused on the industry in its Election Briefing, which highlighted that “construction is a key engine for UK economic growth”.