A new report from the infrastructure construction industry, informed by civil engineering consultants, has shown that spending in the sector has slowed down, even before the Brexit vote.
A poll by the Civil Engineering Contractor’s Association (CECA) has seen that six out of ten engineering subsectors has seen a reduction in work and fewer orders in the book in the three months before July compared to the same time last year. The research is touted as the latest evidence that spending confidence in the UK has been hurt by the Brexit vote, according to the Guardian.
CECA believes these figures should act as a major warning sign for government policy makers, as infrastructure investment has a strong link to wider economic growth. Chief executive Alasdair Reisner is concerned that the slower pace of investment will have disastrous results for the UK: “Right now we are supposed to be going hell for leather on infrastructure… [but] our figures show that the market is slowing just as the country needs it to speed up,” he said.
The report suggests that the main problem is not with the public sector, where essential works are continually funded, but with private civil engineering contracts as investors question whether the market is there for the work.
Mr Reisner suggests growth in the wider economy will be affected by the slowdown, but also gives special mention to projects in the north of England. The slowdown in these areas, he says, will put the brakes on efforts to rebalance economic growth across the country.