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Reaction to ONS construction industry output figures for April

The Vinden Partnership calls for political stability as the construction industry braces for period of uncertainty

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed that the UK construction industry dipped slightly in April.

Construction output fell 1.6% in comparison with March’s figures, with a drop in all new work and the repair and maintenance sector being the biggest contributing factors.

 There was also significant downward pressure coming from private housing, which fell by 6.9% in April.

Public housing also dropped by 7.9%, meaning total housing fell by 7.1% following a robust performance in March.

Infrastructure activity, however, saw an increase of 5.7% in comparison with the previous month.

Peter Vinden, Managing Director of The Vinden Partnership – a leading multi-disciplinary consultant company to the built environment, said: ”The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics are a disappointment but it would be wrong to place too much emphasis on them.

“The Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI statistics from April and May painted a different picture, with strong performances driven by housing, civil engineering and building sub-sectors.

“The big concern now will be how the construction industry reacts to the election result. Unfortunately, it looks like we are set for a period of more uncertainty. The sector has displayed incredible robustness since the EU referendum but we may see a slowdown in growth as we approach the end of second quarter.

“Businesses will demand that politicians act decisively for the good of the country, especially with the fast approaching Brexit negotiations. Given the challenges the country faces, we need our politicians focused on the job in hand and not distracted by matters of self-interest.”

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