Output in the construction industry will experience its sharpest fall since 1948 this year and is not expected to return to significant growth for more than a decade.

The Construction Products Association, the industry’s main trade body, will today forecast a 15% contraction in the sector’s overall output in 2009 and warn that pre-downturn investment trends will not be seen again until 2021 at the earliest.

A reduction in spending on commercial and residential property, which together account for more than a third of sector output, combined with a sharp decline in repair and maintenance work, has taken a severe toll on an industry that employs 10 per cent of the UK’s workforce.

During the recession, job losses in construction, which accounts for 8 per cent of GDP, have exceeded those of any other industry – 111,000 jobs have been lost since the credit crunch and another 70,000 in construction product manufacturing so far.

Financial Times