It has often been claimed that developing trustful relationships across the construction supply chain is likely to yield higher project performance outcomes. However, most recently, it has been suggested that there seems to be an apparent retreat by some of the earlier advocates of the relational agenda through trust development given the economic turbulence. Such claims raise important questions regarding the influence of macroeconomic factors/environment on relationship-based approaches and hence trust development. Was the promotion of such relational agenda purely driven by the burgeoning economy as claimed by some at the time or was this the right direction for the construction industry if higher project performance outcomes were to be delivered to clients? This study aims to explore from literature, the current state of the relational agenda in the UK construction industry with particular emphasis on trust development so as to gain an insight into what the future outlook is likely to be. Literature on trust in construction and other team-based industries are synthesised to identify any links between trust development and themes that relate to or can be influenced by the macro-economy. From this, it is argued that perhaps, the macroeconomic environment exerts a considerable influence on trust. There is a higher tendency for firms to display higher levels of competence trust and relatively lower levels of integrity trust during economic downturns. For high levels of project performance to be maintained, clients may switch between different governance modes underpinned by 'collaborations with and without integrity trust' depending on the project life cycle and macro-economic outlook. This could influence overall procurement and managerial strategies on projects such that the use of transactional approaches could become more prominent during periods of economic downturn.