Graham Watts: keep the forecasts in perspective.

Don't believe the builders

Published:  23 November, 2009

LONDON: The construction industry may be unrealistically upbeat about its future prospects, with future profits based on pre-recession order books, said KPMG in a report.

The firm's annual survey of construction firms worldwide found that 64% expected to increase or maintain profit by mid 2010 but many firms are working through order books built up before the recession said Fiona McDermott, UK head of building and construction at KPMG.

Graham Watts, chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, said the optimism of global firms was "probably not misplaced", but highlighted the gap between the UK's recovery prospects and the rest of the world.

UK construction output is expected to continue to fall in 2010 and 2011, according to Experian.

Mr Watts said: "There is a lag. Most heads of major firms I talk to feel there's another two years of recession to go here and that's borne out by official figures."

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