Bad weather dampens construction output

Aaron Morby 8 years ago
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Despite a sodden start to the year construction has clocked up 4% more work in the first two months of this year compared to the same period in 2013.

Latest output figures for February suggested the seasonally adjusted volume of work fell 2.8% compared to January.

The slide was driven by both new work, falling 2.6%, and repair & maintenance, falling 3.1%, in the month.

But February’s output compared to the same month last year was up 2.8%.

The more reliable longer term data shows a slightly improved picture emphasising the volatility in the short term estimates.

The three-monthly (December to February) estimate of construction output is that all work grew 0.3% when compared with the previous three months, due to a 1% increase in new work.

Compared to a year ago, output is 4.5% higher, with new work up 4.9%.

Unsurprisingly the big winners were house building, up almost 22%, and housing maintenance, up 7%.

A big concern is that infrastructure took a dive of 3.1% in the past three months compared to a year ago. While private commercial remains largely flat.

Simon Rawlinson, Head of Strategic Research and Insight, EC Harris, “Poor weather in January and February is likely to have been a significant contributor to the fall and output is likely to rebound in March – particularly in house building ahead of the Spring Sales season.

“One watch out is infrastructure, where output was lower than a year ago – possibly indicating that efforts to smooth workload during the transition between control periods in the water, gas and electricity industries may not have been as successful as intended.”

graph ons february

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