GDP figures released by the Office of National Statistics today show construction recorded a dramatic fall of 4.7% over the previous quarter.
Contractors are now urging the Government to speed up the private-sector led construction recovery or the sector will continue to act as a drag on growth because it accounts for around 10% of total GDP output.
Civil Engineering Contractors Association director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner said: “While any GDP growth is clearly welcome following the previous quarter’s dire figures, the fact that construction remains a major brake on a full economic recovery should serve to worry those tempted to think a recovery is now entrenched.
“Accounting for a sizeable proportion of GDP in the UK, until a resolution can be found to the construction sector’s continuing weakness, the sector may well be preventing the recovery from becoming sustainable.
“With government finances tight, only private sector investment can help deliver a recovery in the construction sector, and at present their actions speak louder than words.
“At the moment there is not enough confidence in the UK’s economic recovery to justify the risk of new projects.
“While GDP is up for now, there seems to be insufficient belief it will stay that way.
“Only by creating the conditions to encourage greater investment in construction and infrastructure from the private sector can the government help to create a self-sustaining economic recovery.
“While we welcome much of the government’s recent work on construction, in the Budget and through the work of Infrastructure UK, these figures demonstrate that this is no time for government to take their foot off the gas.
“Reforms need to move quickly from proposal to action if the construction sector at large is to begin contributing to the economic recovery, rather than slowing it down.”