"This (weak data) does point to the idea that … there may need to be some monetary stimulus," Mark Cleverly, commercial director at Arcadis, said at a debate hosted with the Royal Institute of British Architects in London on Tuesday.
The Bank of England surprised financial markets by keeping interest rates on hold last week, rather than making a stimulatory 25-basis point cut to the base rate. A rate cut or even a resurrection of the central bank's massive asset-purchasing program is still seen as a possibility after the Bank of England's August meeting, when Governor Carney and his colleagues will mull updated growth and inflation forecasts.
"The real worry for us is that we might get into a zombie economy, with delays in (construction) projects, which lead to a lack of visible pipeline for the future, which lead to cutting investment… may be having to chase work by bidding more competitively for lower prices," Cleverly said on Tuesday.
In its U.K. economic outlook for July, PwC forecast construction would be the sector hit hard hardest by Brexit, due to its reliance on large-scale projects that might now be delayed or cancelled. It sees the sector shrinking by 0.7 percent in 2016 and 2.0 percent in 2017.
The pessimistic outlook found support at Tuesday's debate.
"In the last year, judging by the cranes we are seeing across the city (of London), there has been a lot of construction (projects), but many of them will cease to be completed," Nigel Coates, a London architect and panelist at the event, said.
"We are obviously in a situation of turmoil," he later added.