Stakeholder - Gateley Vinden

Construction wobbles as England stall

The latest statistics from the ONS show construction output is continuing its recent decline.

Figures from the three-on-three month series show a 1.7% fall in May 2018. This latest statistic is the third consecutive decline in this series.

However, the more volatile month-on-month series is finding positives. Construction output has grown from April’s figures, showing an increase of 2.9%. Growth in the month-on-month series has been driven by a recovery in fortunes for private housing repair and maintenance work, which grew 7.3% in May 2018.

Construction output reached a record high in the final two months of 2017, finishing at 31.5% higher than May 2013 – the low point. With the start of 2018, however, output fell – largely attributed to the terrible weather the ‘Beast from the East’ brought. Output has risen steadily while the weather warms up and has begun to show signs of recovery. Even with a struggling three-on-three monthly series, construction output remains 30.3% above the level seen in May 2013. The month-on-month rise in construction output in May 2018 stemmed from increases across all types of work.

Commenting on the new construction output figures, Peter Vinden, Managing Director of the Vinden Partnership said: “The latest three-in-three month figures make tough reading for the industry. Even with the green shoots showing from April, a third successive decline will dampen even the strongest spirits.

“With both UK and International firms failing to make commitments beyond Brexit, the industry is faltering with uncertainty.

“With no clarification on EU workers rights, wages are rising as the skilled pool decreases, while material prices are rising, which will further tax the industry.”

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