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ONS release 2016 construction statistics

The Office of National Statistics has released its latest statistics for the construction industry to year-end 2016.

Figures show that the value of new construction in Great Britain continued to rise in 2016, reaching its highest level on record at £99,266M, with continued growth in the private sector driving new projects and revenue.

The steady rise in the value of construction new orders seen since 2011 has continued, owing to the increase in all other work in 2016.

However, construction price inflation reached 2.2% in the last month of 2016, above both the CPI and SPPI, at at 1.1%.

In materials and components, the trade deficit continues, imports are more than double the value of exports and this is concerning in the wake of Brexit with economic an political uncertainty set to continue.

The year resulted in growth in employment, with the skills gaps being filled by 55,831 extra jobs compared with 2015. Most employment is found around London, the South East and the North West, and the number of construction companies is increasing across the country.

Even more positives can be found in the number of construction firms in Great Britain, which increased to its highest level on record in 2016.

The ONS has stated that 2016 was a positive year for the construction industry, and while potential risks lie in confidence in the UK economy post-Brexit, this can be mitigated through government support and investment.

Despite public sector output falling in 2016, low interest rates have facilitated private sector investment in the industry, and the marginal fall in public sector work has been far outweighed by the continuing expansion of the private sector; with growth coming from the housing sector in particular.

Private housing and public other new work provided the main contributions to growth, with only private industrial new orders falling in 2016. The growth in all new housing has come as a result of both private new housing and public new housing increasing.

Construction output grew consistently in real volume terms in every quarter of 2016, resulting in annual growth of 3.8% in 2016. This expansion in construction output comes after two years of relatively high growth in the industry, with construction output expanding by 4.4% in 2015 and 9% in 2014.


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