63% of construction companies are currently engaged in onsite construction activity, according to a new survey by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF). The CIF’s Construction Confidence Index also recorded an increase in activity amongst 26% of construction companies over the last three months, while 37% believe it has stayed at the same level.
Other statistics revealed in the survey include:
- The number of employees has increased in 22% of construction companies over the past three months, while the number employed has decreased in 33% of construction companies over the same period.
- 28% of construction companies have submitted an increased number of tenders over the last three months and 34% have submitted the same number over the same period.
- 28% of construction companies expect the level of tenders to increase over the next three months and 43% expect it to stay the same.
- 55% of construction companies have less confidence in the state of the construction industry in Ireland over the past three months.
Speaking about the CIF Construction Confidence Index, CIF Director General Tom Parlon said, “Looking at the statistics from this survey, it would seem that Irish construction companies have been faring relatively well in recent times, despite the difficult circumstances in the industry. Most construction companies are actually on site at present so that is positive news and a positive sign for the industry. This positivity is backed up by the statistic in the CIF Construction Confidence Index which deals with activity. It shows that six out of ten companies have seen their activity increase or stay at the same level over the last three months.
“The number of tenders submitted by construction companies also seems to have stopped declining. Again six out of ten construction companies say they have submitted more tenders or the same number of tenders as they were three months ago. When it comes to the outlook for the next three months seven out ten construction companies expect the number of tenders they submit to increase or stay the same.”
“However there was a reminder of the difficulties the sector has been going through with the statistic on confidence in the state of the industry. 55% of construction companies have experienced a decrease, which unfortunately reflects the fact that the sector has gone through six years of decline. As an industry we are still looking for light at the end of the tunnel and until we do see measures being taken to improve the conditions for the construction industry – such as implementing some form of stimulus plan – then it will be difficult for construction companies to have confidence about their business environment.
“This is a new survey which is being run by the CIF and we hope it provides a practical, easy to follow guide regarding state of the construction industry. We want these statistics to be of use to our members and those interested in the construction sector, providing a relevant guide for how the industry is faring and the underlying atmosphere in the sector. We hope to make this survey a regular feature in future,” Mr. Parlon concluded.
The survey also asked construction companies to provide comments about the state of the construction industry. Amongst the comments provided were:
- “Below cost tendering is still a significant problem the lack of public works is causing severe difficulty in the industry as is the delay in payments from public bodies even when such projects are secured. The amount of contractors going into liquidation on a Friday and tendering against again in a different guise on a Monday has got to stop.”
- “Can not compete with black economy and companies that disregard health and safety regulations.”
- “New regulations coming down the line will help the industry, particularly housing. However there is no credit in the system and banks need to help in this regard otherwise viable construction companies will close due to cash flow problems rather than a lack of sales.”
- “Sad that there is little State effort to encourage the construction industry to get back to work which has such potential to give employment when correctly supported.”
- “Construction Contracts Bill needs to be brought into law. Review of GCCC needs to happen ASAP.”
The CIF Construction Confidence Index was conducted among CIF member companies in May 2013. A total of 328 respondents participated.