The British economy grew by 0.3 percent in the first three months of 2013, to avoid a triple-dip recession. In Wales, the construction sector showed little sign of recovery, with reports of a decline in workloads.
Despite the decline, the survey also found signs of optimism in the market with surveyors predicting growing workloads over the next 12 months, alongside hopes for employment levels in the building sector.
There is no doubt that trading conditions remain very challenging across the construction sector, however I believe there remains an underlying sense of optimism within the industry that there will be a moderate in-year increase in activity during 2014.
Funding remains a challenge for the industry, with recent figures published by the Bankof England figures last week showing that net lending to companies slumped by £4.8 billion in the three months to February, declining by £2.8 billion in February alone.
If we are to see the anticipated recovery over the course of the year there is a clear need for the financial institutions to be more supportive. There remain opportunities for alternative funding vehicles to enter the market, and plug the void that is currently being left by the banks.
The latest construction market survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that almost all sectors of Welsh construction had seen a decline in the first three months of the year.
Around 13 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a fall in the number of workloads.
The survey found a "significant reduction" in public housing projects and that infrastructure, commercial, industrial and public sector construction levels were also struggling. Private housing was the only sector to see an increase.
Financial constraints was the main issue holding back construction output, according to 88 per cent of those responding to the survey, followed by insufficient demand and weather conditions.