The government must maintain its public spending plans if the construction products sector is to stay in good shape, according to the Construction Products Association (CPA).

Construction output is due to drop 7% in the next three years according to the latest CPA industry forecast, with an expected 2% decline in 2008 and 5% in 2009. This follows 13 years of “unpredicted growth” with output rising by 32% between 1994 and 2007.

This will be underwritten by the continued increase in public sector investments in schools, hospitals and transport infrastructure, although even this market has become weak and susceptible to the economic slowdown according to the CPA.

“The prospects for the industry over the next few years are very precarious, therefore it is critically important the government maintains its spending plans in order to deliver the much needed investment in our schools, hospitals, infrastructure and other public sector investment,” said chief executive Michael Ankers.

“With shrinkage already being experienced in privately funded new work the industry is certainly in for a bumpy ride as output falls to levels last seen in 2002.”

The latest industry reaction to the economic climate will feature in this week’s edition of TTJ.