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Slower growth, but outlook remains positive

Expansion is expected to continue within the construction sector, although this will be less than previously forecast, according to the Construction Products Association (CPA).

Its latest figures predict growth of 3.6% this year, followed by 3.8% in 2016.

These figures were previously set at 4.9% and 4.2% respectively in the CPA Summer Forecast.

It added that the industry is expected to see growth of 19.7% up to 2019, driven by private housing, commercial and infrastructure in particular, which are the three largest sectors.

Concern over skills shortages are highlighted as one of the “key risks” by the CPA, along with government austerity.

Economics director Dr Noble Francis said: “The commercial sector is forecast to enjoy growth from 2016 averaging 3.9% per year through to 2019. 

“New offices construction is expected to be the primary driver of this growth, with increasing activity in cities such as Birmingham and Manchester as well as growth in the capital. 

“Retail construction is expected to improve but a consolidation of expansion plans by major supermarket chains will constrain growth rates.”