The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed that the UK’s construction industry slowed down in August but said the downturn was “unlikely” to be Brexit-related.
July figures were revised upwards from a 1.0% drop to a rise of 0.5%. August’s figures, however, revealed a drop of 1.5%.
The figures come as a surprise as economists were predicting a rise of around 0.2%.
There were decreases seen in all new work and the repair and maintenances sectors of 1.4% and 1.5% respectively.
The biggest downturn, however, came from infrastructure output, which fell by 5.1%. In comparison, July’s saw a 6.1% rise in infrastructure.
Total new housing fell by 1.3% in comparison with the previous month, while decreases were seen in both public and private new housing of 2.1% and 1.2% respectively.
Compared with the same period last year, there was a rise of 7.9% in total new housing – the ninth consecutive period of year-on-year growth. There was an increase of 9.4% in private new housing, which was offset slightly by a fall of 0.8% in public new housing.
The underlying pattern when comparing this three-month period to the previous three months showed construction industry output decreased by 1.3%.
Year-on-year movement showed that there was an increase of 0.2% when compared with August 2015. New work increased by 1.1%, while repair and maintenance fell by 1.3%.
Office for National Statistics statistician, Kate Davies said the slowdown was not linked to any concerns the industry as a whole might be having about Brexit. She commented: Construction output has fallen back quite sharply in recent months and contracted by 1.5% in August. As the fall this month is led by infrastructure, it seems unlikely that post-referendum uncertainties are having an impact.”
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