'Harsh winter' for construction industry

Construction site
Image caption The SBF said they feared the industry will suffer in 2011.

New figures point to a "long, harsh winter" for the Scottish construction industry, according to the Scottish Building Federation (SBF).

The chief executive of the SBF, Michael Levack, said there had been a modest increase in output in recent months.

But he said the value of private housebuilding had fallen by £25m and private commercial output was down 44% from when the economy was at its peak.

Mr Levack said he feared the industry would see a harder fall in 2011.

"Surprisingly, private industrial output has seen a record quarter and the repair and maintenance sector has passed the £1bn threshold for the first time," he said.

He added: "While there have been further rises in public sector work in the third quarter of 2010, output from this sector of the industry will inevitably plummet as budget cuts really start to bite."

"As 2010 draws to a close, with output set to nosedive and, given the appalling weather we have recently witnessed, Scottish construction undoubtedly faces a long, harsh winter."

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