Construction output shrinks again in February

Aaron Morby 11 years ago
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Construction output contracted 9% from December to February compared to the same three-months last year.

The fall was marginally better than the 10% drop recorded in the last monthly set of output figures, but indicates the industry is now operating at a level where there is around £1bn less work each month than last year.

A small pick up in output in February of around 5.5% compared to January was put down to the industry recovering from the poor weather at the beginning of the year.

The new monthly figure for February construction output was still down 7% compared to the same period last year.

New work over the three-month period fell 10.7% with public building work down a quarter and private commercial work down 10%.

There was also a 5.6% decrease in repair and maintenance, mainly due to a 8.3% fall in the repair and maintenance of housing.

Construction Products Association Economics Director, Noble Francis said: “It was expected that construction output in February would be considerably higher than in January because weather conditions significantly improved.

“Despite this rise, it also highlights the underlying trend that output in the last three months was 10% lower than a year earlier.

“Of most concern was the fall in the largest sector, private commercial, which fell 0.4% compared with weather affected January.”

    Construction output at 2005 prices

    February  ONS output

Institution of Civil Engineers director general, Nick Baveystock, said: “The on-going weakness in infrastructure output is concerning, especially given Government’s commitment to infrastructure acting as a catalyst for economic recovery and job creation.

“The impact of the spending cuts made in 2010 now appear to be feeding down and becoming apparent, notably reducing activity on site.

“Government is rightly starting to think more strategically about how it delivers UK infrastructure and how it can be funded.

“However with a tough Spending Review on the immediate horizon, it must act with caution before inflicting further cuts on a sector that is such an important facilitator of growth, both short and long term,” he added

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