Project starts were down 24 per cent year on year in June in the aftermath of May’s general election.
According to Construction Week, starts across the majority of sectors declined compared with the same month in 2014, according to the Glenigan index for June.
The dip was largely attributed to the postponement of government projects in the immediate run-up to May’s election, as well as reticence from private developers, leading to projects being delayed until after the vote.
Non-residential construction was hit particularly hard, with overall project starts 20 per cent lower year on year.
All non-residential building sectors contracted, with offices suffering the sharpest fall at more than 50 per cent.
In contrast, industrial projects held up relatively well, slipping just 1 per cent compared with June 2014.
Residential starts also declined over the same period, dropping 18 per cent after falls in both private housing and social housing activity.
Unsurprisingly, public sector-dominated areas such as education and health were also affected by the election, recording year-on-year falls of 14 per cent and 25 per cent respectively in June.
Regionally, almost all areas of the UK saw a dip in project starts, with only the East Midlands and the North-west reporting improvement, supported by increases in residential and industrial starts.
Commenting on June’s figures, Glenigan economics director Allan Wilén said: “Pre-election jitters continued to dampen project starts in the immediate aftermath of the election.
“The current dip in starts will hold back the pace of output growth this year.
“However, the election result has reduced political uncertainty in the near term and we anticipate a bounce-back in private sector project starts over the coming months as investor confidence returns.”
He added: “Less encouragingly, the government has announced both a scaling back of Network Rail’s capital programme and the early removal of support for onshore wind farms.
“This suggests the flow of civil engineering projects will be increasingly constrained over the next two years”