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05May94 UK: ANOTHER BOOM ON THE WAY?

Only whisper it, but are we heading for another boom? And does that mean another bust will be following shortly behind?As in the mid 1980s, London and the South is leading the industry out of recession, according to Glenigan's latest figures. The region's first quarter figure for main contract awards is just over £2.9 billion, the highest for any quarter since we started collecting statistics at the end of 1990, and two-and-a-half times the total for the same period last year.The biggest rises in the region were recorded in the residential and commercial sectors, up 41 per cent and 54 per cent respectively.The tenders total is equally upbeat. At £5.3 billion it includes the £2.4 billion estimate for the Channel Tunnel high-speed rail link. But even if this is excluded, it still doubled the value of work out to tender in the first quarter of 1993.If the figures were less sensational in other areas, there were still some extraordinary rises. The first quarter contract awards totals in Wales, East Anglia and the Midlands were also higher than any first quarter figure previously recorded.In fact, only Scotland really spoiled the party with the value of main contract awards falling by just under 4 per cent in the first quarter over last year. CONSTRUCTION NEWS