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Construction Downturn: South East

The impact of the credit crunch has been acutely felt in the South-east. The region has experienced a reversal in fortunes.

Most private sector areas of construction have experienced sharp falls in the value of construction starts during the first seven months of the year.

Growth in the education and health sectors has offset some of the decline. Glenigan estimates that the value of new construction projects in the region will contract by 11 per cent in 2008.

Construction prospects for the region look set to deteriorate further in 2009. Planning approvals for the first seven months of this year are down 29 per cent relative to 2007.

Infrastructure approvals have fallen back sharply for projects less than £100 million, which is largely due to a fall in the value of utilities work coming forward.

That said, major infrastructure projects are moving forward (for example, the £400 million container port at London Gateway).

After strong spending this year, new construction starts for the education and health sectors look set to pare back in 2009 following a large fall in the value of approvals this year.