Builders 'rely on British work'
Larger construction companies are heavily reliant on work outside Northern Ireland to maintain their businesses, employers claimed.
More than half the turnover of main local contractors at the end of last year was generated in Great Britain, according to the Construction Employers' Federation (CEF).
Output in Northern Ireland decreased by 3% during the final quarter of last year.
John Armstrong, managing director of the federation, said: "Today's figures for quarter four are disappointing news for the industry and run contrary to more positive signals we have seen in recent months."
He added: "It is clear that the larger local companies are still heavily reliant on work outside Northern Ireland to maintain and grow their businesses."
Approximately 60% of the turnover of the top 20 locally-based contractors was generated in Great Britain in the final three months of last year. For the top five contractors this proportion was closer to 90%, Mr Armstrong said.
He added: "Locally, many contractors are still waiting to see the recovery materialise.
"The industry wants to see an increase in activity on the ground in Northern Ireland but is concerned that the Government and the banks are not facilitating this."