Tender values fall as spending cuts bite

Published:  10 February, 2011

SUTTON: The number of tenders issued masks a fall in size of projects says the Builders Conference. The market research company report on 8,500 contracts last year, 2% down on 2009 but the value of work fell 15% to £30bn over the year but with large regional variations.

Neil Edwards, chief executive said: "According to our findings, the number of contracts let in Oxfordshire during 2010 was actually up by 5% on the previous 12 month. But the combined value of those contracts was down by an incredible 69% over the same period."

Similar patterns occur elsewhere, he said with the Northern region reporting 21% more contracts but a 67% in value.

Mr Edwards said that figures for the first month of 2011 show a measured but notable bounce-back. This supports recent findings of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing that also recorded a rebound in activity in January.

"While it would be premature to suggest that this is a sign of resurgence, it does highlight the resilience of an industry that is used to peaks and troughs in workload and profitability," Mr Edwards said.

"But, at present, the only predictable thing about these market statistics is their sheer unpredictability. And I fear we may still have a year or more of economic uncertainty ahead of us."

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