Construction output and orders fall

Aaron Morby 5 years ago
Share

Fresh Government construction activity figures reveal the industry continues to be hit by the Brexit deadlock.

Offcial indicators now point to a protracted slowdown, as construction output fell by 0.8% in the three months to July and orders shrank by over 13% in the second quarter.

The output slide against the previous three-month period was driven mainly by lower repair and maintenance activity of 2.2% and a 0.1% fall in new work.

Tightening pressure came from a 6.2% drop in public other new work and 0.5% slip in private new housing. But strong growth of near 7% in public new housing helped to offset a serious decline.

Construction output


While the July monthly output figure actually rose by 0.5%, pundits warned that order figures also out today suggested contractors faced continuing declines in activity.

A 10% rise in orders enjoyed in the first quarter of 2019 was wiped out by a 13.3% dive in the second quarter from April to June.

The main culprits were private commercial and other public new works, down by around a quarter.

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, warned: “Further decline in the coming months risks putting smaller, more vulnerable firms out of business.”

Gareth Belsham, director of the national property consultancy and surveyors Naismiths, said: “Even by the volatile standards of the construction industry, contractors’ order books have been subjected to both feast and famine this year.

“Despite a largely grim backdrop of declining output, such extreme swings in new orders offer a paradoxical bright spot – as they hint at the depth of latent demand that is being held back as clients hold off on pulling the trigger.

“Yet there is only so long moth-balled projects and deferred investment decisions can be held back.”

He added: “After more than three years of crushing uncertainty, it’s no longer clear whether the deadlock stands a better chance of being broken by a ‘no-deal’ Brexit or another delay.”

Clive Docwra, managing director of construction consulting and design agency, McBains added: “All the signs point to a protracted slowdown in activity over the coming months.

“Meanwhile, the weak pound means the cost of imported materials is squeezing pockets.”

Latest news

Mace confirmed on £100m London office retrofit

Work underway on Helical's 100 New Bridge Street job near Ludgate Circus
9 hours ago

Wylfa chosen for next big nuclear power station build

Government names Anglesey site for a large-scale gigawatt nuclear power plant.
12 hours ago

Bowmer & Kirkland trading profit halves

Contractor buys HVAC specialist Adcock despite challenging market
12 hours ago

Piling specialist Van Elle plans further job cuts

Piling specialist plans further cost savings in face of lower demand
13 hours ago

Civils contractor A Catlow files administration notice

High voltage cable specialist lodges court notice
12 hours ago

Green light for ARC Oxford lab campus

Work to start later this year on £40m Ascent building job
13 hours ago

Stonehenge tunnel hit by another legal delay

Court upholds latest appeal against £1.7bn scheme by campaigners
1 day ago

Plans go in for huge Olympic Park construction hub

Bow Goods Yard could deliver 3.5m tonnes of materials a year to sites across London
1 day ago

40% affordable homes target for Labour’s new towns

Labour pledges to select new town sites by end of first year
1 day ago

Plan for £100m Liverpool Baltic station

Construction work could begin next year
2 days ago

Surgo Construction went down owing £4.5m

Biggest creditor is Bellway Homes after dispute on housing job
2 days ago

Vistry seals £157m West London housing deal

Around 575 homes to be built at Merrick Place scheme in Ealing
2 days ago

Streamlined Watkin Jones returns to profit in first half

Multi-room specialist sees secured work pipeline hit £1.4bn
2 days ago

Bellway hires ex-brickie as group construction chief

James Griffin to oversee move to the Future Homes Standard and timber frame.
2 days ago

Persimmon under fire for delays to £10m relief road

West Suffolk Council serves Breach of Condition Notices after timetable slips again
2 days ago

BAM wins £33m Kent secondary school job

Replacement Swanley academy to be built at live school site
2 days ago

Aluminium cladding specialist collapses

Melton Mowbray-based firm worked for several main contractors
2 days ago

Brickwork contractor Lee Marley returns to profit

Affordable and rental homes demand lifts brickwork contractor
3 days ago

Housing contractor Durkan suffers second year of losses

More fire safety provisions tip firm into £3.9m loss
3 days ago

Farrans makes breakthrough on tricky tunnel job

Tunnel under Tees latest part of new £155m water pipeline job
3 days ago

Heidelberg buys aggregates and earthworks specialist B&A

Latest deal follows acquisition of Mick George
3 days ago

Flagship biodiversity net gain scheme flawed

NAO warns Government's flagship green development scheme at risk of failure
5 days ago

Plan in for £3bn Lincolnshire mega data centre

3.3m sq ft Humber Tech Park will be one of Europe's largest data centres
6 days ago

Green light for Digbeth 1,300 homes scheme

Warner’s Fields scheme to start with excavation and landscaping of the River Rea
6 days ago

£210m M3 Junction 9 upgrade gains consent

VolkerFitzpatrick to start work in early 2025 on Winnall roundabout, near Winchester
6 days ago

United Living wins 14-year L&Q homes repairs deal

Trafford housing upkeep deal worth £205m
6 days ago

£400m Lewisham resi-led scheme advances

Land deal paves way for Amro Partners' 1,000-home London scheme
6 days ago

McLaren gets go-ahead for Grade II listed Leeds student scheme

Springfield House to be revamped and two new wings added
6 days ago

Piling giant to fit people alarms on all rigs

Cementation Skanska upgrades site safety systems
6 days ago

Vistry to make £800m profit after subcontractor cost cuts

House builder bullish about shareholder returns after asking suppliers for discounts
7 days ago

Contractor services