News - Construction News

Construction output down as infrastructure wobbles

The latest month-on-month figures have been released by the Office of National Statistics, with August’s figures showing a drop off in construction output.

2019 has seen mixed fortunes and huge fluctuations for the industry, with February recording a record high of £13,869M in the monthly all work series, with falls in March, April and June then largely offset by increases in May, July and August.

The figure recorded for construction output in August 2019 is now £123M below this record high at £13,746M.

Looking at each broad work category, August saw a 0.2% month-on-month decrease in new work, while repair and maintenance saw growth of 1.1%. New work saw a mixed profile of growth, with private commercial new work (1.0%), public new housing (3.3%) and private industrial (3.8%) experiencing increases, while private new housing (0.9%), infrastructure (1.3%) and public other new work (3.1%) saw falls.

In repair and maintenance, a growth of 1.1% comprised growth across all the components within the sector. Non-housing, and private housing repair and maintenance saw the largest growth, increasing by 1.4% and 1.0% respectively.

Across the three-on-three month series, construction output increased by £25M, compared with the previous three months.

New work output increased by some £136M in the three months to August 2019, driven by growth in new housing, with both private and public housing experiencing increases of £92M and £57M respectively. The other notable increase in new work was private commercial new work, which increased by £62M.

However, repair and maintenance output declined by £111M, driven largely by a £180M drop in private housing repair and maintenance.

In the month-on-year all work series, there was an increase of 2.4% (£323M) in August 2019, with a 4.5% (£390M) boost to new work. Most types of work saw an increase in their month-on-year series in August 2019, with the main contributors being infrastructure and private new housing, which increased by 7.8% (£137M) and 4.0% (£118M) respectively.

There was also an increase in private commercial new work of £122M, which is the first positive growth seen in the series after 19 consecutive monthly declines.

Looking across the year, while growth was recorded in the second half of 2018, and 2019 (excluding January), this rate of growth is considerably weaker in comparison with the growth rates seen across the period from 2014 to 2017 inclusive.

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