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UK growth to surpass Western EU neighbours in decade to come

Growth in the UK’s construction industry over the next decade will be among the strongest in Western Europe, according to a report.

The 10-year forecast from Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics – which was carried out in conjunction with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – predicts the UK will be the ninth largest construction market in the world in 2020.

The report expects Britain to continue to feel the damaging effects of the global recession going into 2010, with year-on-year growth only returning in 2011.

But the UK will move into the top ten largest construction markets in 2020 – ahead of France and Italy, but behind Germany and Spain – as output recovers more strongly than its Western European neighbours.

Local growth will be led by the recent recovery in the residential property market as the pent up demand for new homes is finally realised, it claims.

According to the report, Eastern Europe will see growth averaging more than 100 per cent over the next decade – led by Poland and Russia.

The emerging markets will rapidly overtake their developed neighbours, with China replacing the US as the world’s largest construction market as early as 2018.

China is expected to have a 19.1 per cent share of global construction by 2020 – worth almost £1.45 trillion.

The report – entitled Global Construction 2020 – predicts that in 10 years Nigeria, Vietnam and Turkey will be among those experiencing the highest growth levels, alongside booming markets such as India, China and Brazil.

Global Construction Perspectives spokesman Mike Betts said the UK construction industry should be positive about the next decade.

He said: “The UK’s construction market has suffered during the recession but will recover stronger than many of its Western European neighbours from 2011.”

The report predicts that today’s global construction market is worth an estimated £7.5 trillion – representing 13.4 per cent of global GDP.

But by 2020 construction will be a £12.7 trillion global market and is forecast to account for 14.6 per cent of GDP.