The total value of construction and transport contract awards in the GCC fell for the fourth consecutive year during 2017 as the impact of lower oil prices continues to mean fewer new work opportunities for construction companies.

According to regional projects tracker MEED Projects, there were $72.679bn of construction and transport awards in the GCC in 2017, which is down about 6.5 per cent on the $77.722bn total achieved during 2016.

The performance in 2017 was dragged down by a sluggish few months at the end of this year, with December and November registering record lows.

In December there have been $2.737bn of contract awards, which is the lowest total in more than five years, and about a third of the $7.578bn month average recorded since the start of 2012.

The poor performance in December follows a weak month in November when there were $3.294bn of awards, which at the time was the lowest value recorded for more than five years.

The performance of the market appears better when a six-month rolling average is used. This number is often preferred to simple monthly totals as it flattens out the spikes created by large contract awards.

After hitting a low of $4.816bn in February this year, the six-month rolling average has improved and in December sat at $6.620bn, which is more than double the basic total for the month.