Lancashire’s construction industry will remain in recession this year after a fall in output.
New figures published on Wednesday show the county saw output drop 13 per cent as it suffered one of its most difficult trading periods since the Second World War.
The Construction Skills Network report, published by ConstructionSkills, predicts a further 0.4 per cent annual fall in output growth until 2017.
Steve Housden, sector strategy manager for the report’s author in the North West, said public spending cuts were expected to drive a declining in this crucial area of work at a rate of 12.3 per cent every year for four years.
He said: “Construction found itself at the heart of a ‘perfect storm’ in 2012 – hit hard by a combination of public sector spending cuts and a lack of investment in the private sector.
“All of these factors have had severe consequences for the construction industry.
“The reduction in investment for public sector non-housing is a large blow to the regional industry and, with this in mind, we are doing all we can to work with construction employers to add value during these tough times.
“This will hopefully lead to further growth on a local and national level.” Non-housing public sector work makes up 16 per cent of work to the county’s construction industry, with the public housing sector also expected to contract by 1.4 per cent over the same period.
There is, however, growth anticipated in the infrastructure (1.9 per cent) and housing maintenance (2.7 per cent) sectors.
Mr Housden added: “Construction is a vital engine for growth in the UK economy.
“While the industry struggles for it is survival, it is impossible to see how the UK economy can return to any level of significant growth anytime soon.”