A successful construction sector has helped the amount of new business start-ups reach record levels, Barclays has claimed.
More new businesses started in 2007 than in any year since 1988 and the bank noted that close to 20 per cent were linked in someway to construction.
"2007 recorded the highest annual volume of business starts partly driven by an ongoing boom in the construction sector," said marketing director, John Davis.
A record 471,500 new firms began trading last year despite increasingly difficult trading conditions, which have affected commercial property values.
Construction jobs have been boosted by a series of massive building projects. The preparation for the 2012 Olympics has helped create huge amounts of work, as has the development of the Thames Gateway.
"This year expectations are for slower economic growth and a weaker housing market," Mr Davis predicted.