Market insights – around the globe

Our team of economists have worked closely with our local experts to analyse an expansive cost dataset to provide insight into how the construction industry is performing. Use the filter below to access the full data breakdown for the individual market of your choice.

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UK - Northern Ireland


Economic outlook

UK regions see benefits from devolved powers

The UK has slipped from being a strong performing economy in Europe to among the weaker. But growth has performed better than the post-referendum fears suggested, while devolution and increased regional autonomy offer potential for growth.



Markets and trends

Regional markets continue to benefit from devolved powers and collaborative approaches bringing forward investment decisions targeted to regional needs.

Birmingham appears to be among the greater beneficiaries. Both infrastructure and residential construction have surged with the city acting as a hub for HS2. High-tech and manufacturing sectors remain prosperous across central parts of the UK.

Manchester remains a prominent area of foreign investment, supporting the North as a whole. Construction in Scotland, however, remains flat, although there is a push for public sector housing construction. Northern Ireland, meanwhile, is seeing mixed prospects, with uncertainty on public sector capital spending which greatly supports construction activity in the region.



Key Facts
Tendering: Lukewarm
Market: Staying the same
Cost escalation 2017–18: 1.8%
Cost escalation 2018–19: 2.0%
Contractor’s margin: 3.0%
Preliminaries: 12.5%
Location factor (USD): 62.5
PPP coefficient: 0.6


Future outlook

There are signs that the post-referendum indecision is beginning to ease although the effects of transition still need careful watching. Upward pressure on prices will remain as material costs are still affected by the devaluation of sterling, and labour shortages are widespread. Furthermore, construction margins remain compressed and insolvencies look to be rising.


This content is part of the International construction market survey 2018

Go back to the main ICMS 2018 page