The Office of National Statistics has released its figures for September revealing that the UK construction industry suffered its worst showing in four years in this year’s third quarter.
The first three months following the EU referendum – July to September – saw output fall by 1.1% from the previous quarter.
Repair and maintenance dropped by 3.6%, only partially offset by an increase in all new work of 0.3%.
In comparison with the same period in 2015, output saw a slight rise of 0.1%. There was also increase in new work by 2.0%, while repair and maintenance saw a drop of 3.4%.
There was disappointment in terms of the number of new homes built as the report said construction had stalled, which will be a blow to the government’s ambitious housing programme.
The year on year figures, however, show that output rose by 0.2% in September compared with the same period in 2015.
September’s data also saw construction output rise by 0.3% in comparison with August.
Peter Vinden, Managing Director of The Vinden Partnership – a leading multi-disciplinary consultant company to the built environment said: “I think the narrative of these figures is nothing we don’t already know. The industry has been subdued since the EU referendum but has shown remarkable resilience to return to growth.
“The figures saw construction output rise by 0.3% in comparison with August, with an increase in new work of 1.2%. The ONS warn against interpreting one month’s data but September’s figures from the Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI report released last week showed growth in the last two months, suggesting that the sector had begun to stabilise following the Brexit vote.
“Given the continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit, I don’t expect to see any figures showing more than incremental growth.
“Hopefully, the Autumn Statement due in a few weeks will provide some form of stability or the construction industry moving forward.”
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