Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland construction continues sharp fall

Builders

Construction activity in Northern Ireland continued to fall significantly in the third quarter of this year, according to a new survey.

However, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Construction Market Survey said the fall was not as sharp as in the previous quarter.

Workloads, employment expectations and profit expectations remain deeply negative, according to the survey

Respondents cited spending cuts and economic uncertainty as key factors.

The RICS said the situation would only get worse unless action was taken.

Its Northern Ireland spokesman, Jim Sammon, said: "The Executive needs to explore all options at its disposal to raise revenue to support capital investment in the interests of Northern Ireland as a whole.

"This should include the introduction of domestic water charging as soon as possible."

He added: "It is important that the Northern Ireland Executive agrees a budget as soon as possible so that certainty regarding funds available for capital spending can be provided.

"The construction industry requires clarity regarding work coming down-the-line and transparency regarding workflow to be able to plan ahead and ensure the necessary skills are available to facilitate demand."

The survey found that Northern Ireland remained the UK region with the largest proportion of construction sector chartered surveyors experiencing declining workloads, with a net balance of -63, compared to a UK average of -10.

However, this was an improvement from the second quarter balance of -75.

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