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Bright spots expected for 2011 despite overall decline

Several areas of construction will grow in 2011 despite the overall industry shrinking, according to forecasts from business intelligence unit Glenigan.

The office and industrial sectors are predicted to see the most growth, while private housing, retail and infrastructure are also forecast to provide more work than last year.

Glenigan expects an overall shrinkage of 2 per cent across the industry in 2011, the same level as predicted by the Construction Products Association in December.

But while the public sector will continue to suffer in the wake of cuts outlined within the government’s spending review, the private sector is set to recover in earnest, Glenigan predicts.

The office sector is expected to grow by 41 per cent this year, but any recovery comes from a low base following the severe impact of the downturn.

The industrial sector is forecast to grow by 29 per cent this year, building on an increase of roughly half that size in 2010.

Improved business confidence and lending conditions are expected to promote industrial growth, particularly during the second half of 2011.

Civil engineering is expected to bounce back from a tough 2010 to grow by 17 per cent and private sector infrastructure investment is also forecast to stay strong.

The value of private housing starts on site is forecast to grow by 11 per cent this year as consumer confidence begins to return.

Glenigan believes this will overcome ongoing constraints surrounding mortgage availability.

Retail is set to grow by 4 per cent according to the Glenigan forecasts. Supermarkets will remain a hot spot during 2011, while refurbishment of existing shops across the UK will increase.