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CPA forecasts robust construction growth

Robust growth in the construction industry is forecast for the coming year, with strong performance across the private housebuilding, commercial and infrastructure sectors.This is according to the Construction Products Association (CPA), which says the recovery is becoming "stronger and broader".Overall construction output is forecast to grow by 4.5 per cent in 2014 and a further 4.8 per cent during 2015.Private housebuilding will make a significant contribution to the recovery, as it is predicted to increase by 18 per cent in 2014 and ten per cent in 2015.Commercial offices construction is forecast to grow by seven per cent in 2014 and ten per cent in 2015, while infrastructure will grow by 10.1 per cent in 2014 and 7.2 per cent in 2015.Dr Noble Francis, economics director of the CPA, commented: "One year since the construction recovery began, activity is becoming firmly entrenched. We forecast 4.5 per cent growth in 2014 and a further rise of 4.8 per cent in 2015.  "The construction industry is now on track to grow 18 per cent by 2017 and contribute an additional £20 billion to the UK economy."However, Dr Francis added that while private housebuilding is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, the rate of increase is still insufficient to meet demand. Only half of the houses required are currently being built, he said.The economics director continued by saying that the private housing repair, maintenance and improvement sub-sector has benefited from the recovery in the housing market.However, the lack of Green Deal and ECO-related work has hampered activity and 3.5 per cent growth in 2014 and a further four per cent in 2015 are disappointing figures when compared to the £20 billion market potential.Dr Francis said the main risks to the recovery concern issues of energy security and supply, particularly delays to the nuclear programme and uncertainty regarding investment in gas-fired power plants.The government should act on its announcements of project investment to counter these risks, he added. 

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