Global construction growth ‘good for south west’

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New global construction forecasts indicating significant growth over the coming ten years could be good news for companies in the south west, believes RICS.

Statistics from Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics indicate that the output of the construction sector is likely to rise sharply over the next decade driven by emerging markets China, India and Brazil.

The comprehensive report Global Construction 2020, which looks at the prospects for construction for most major markets worldwide over the next decade, includes a contribution from RICS on the growing importance of sustainability in construction.

Speaking at the launch of the research in London, RICS President Max Crofts commented: “Global Construction 2020 provides the industry with a unique set of forecasts and a clear view of the medium-term time horizon for global construction markets. The forecasts show very clearly how world markets will develop and those that will provide the best opportunities for the profession over the next decade.”

The forecasts show a strongly emerging global construction market worth $7.5 trillion today, but one that Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics forecast will rise to $12.7 trillion by 2020. The predicted sharp increases in construction levels will be a reflection of the strength of the markets in emerging economies such as India, Brazil and China, which are set to double output over the next decade. Although developed areas in general are likely to see relatively modest growth, the US may be something of an exception. The forecasts suggest that US construction output will in particular benefit from a rebound in residential building.

Whilst the survey is focused on global markets, RICS believes the findings are essentially good news for regional businesses in the UK.

Explains Deborah Walsh, head of public policy and communications, RICS West: “The south west region’s construction sector has seen tough times through the recession. There are now some signs of modest improvement here at home. The predicted growth overseas also has important implications for the region. We have many construction related businesses that either already have, or wish to develop, an international capability. UK construction and professional skills are highly rated in world markets. This means growth in places such as China, India and Brazil can also represent a real opportunity for local businesses wishing to expand their horizons.

“Among the key factors to emerge from the survey is the increasing importance of sustainability on global economic growth and construction activity. Driven both by legislation and innovation among UK businesses, we also have a strong base of environmental and sustainable construction experts and these are skills which are set to be in increasing demand around the world.”