The CPA is also anticipating medium-term growth, with an upturn of 1.9% in 2014 and 3.8% in 2015.

CPA economics director Noble Francis said the most concerning element of the forecast decline in 2013 was the 7% fall predicted in private commercial sector output – the largest construction sector.

"Despite this, we are already encouraged by signs of improved market activity, primarily driven by private housing and infrastructure," he said.

"We anticipate that government policies such as Help to Buy will boost private housing, which is expected to rise 19% in just two years."