Annual construction growth hits 5.7% despite fizzling out

Aaron Morby 1 year ago
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Construction enjoyed growth of 5.7% last year even though according to latest monthly output figures it fizzled out in December.

Latest Government output figures show that December was flat after private new housing and repair dragged down otherwise positive growth in other sectors.

At the sector level, the main positive contributors were seen in non-housing repair and maintenance, and infrastructure new work, which increased 5.4% and 3.7%, respectively.

Across the year as a whole 2022 achieved near 6% growth after rebounding in 2021 with a record rise of nearly 13%.

This has left construction output 3.8% higher than the pre-pandemic level recorded in February 2020.

Looking forward total construction new orders slid 1.8% (£242 million) in the final quarter of last year.

This quarterly fall came mainly from private commercial new orders and infrastructure, which fell 9.6% and 11.8%, respectively.

Government figures also show inflation is starting to slow with the annual rate of construction output price growth in the 12 months to December standing at was 9.7%, down from the record level of 10.5% seen last May.

Mark Robinson, group chief executive at SCAPE, said: “Flat growth in December is a more positive note to end what was a challenging second half to 2022.

“Despite this, uncertainty remains the dominant feeling among contractors attempting to plan for the year ahead, with few forecasts agreeing on the scale of the recession.

“While many look to the public sector to shape the pipeline of new work for further confidence, recent reports that Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ capital spending powers have been paused will concern firms that are keen to support local authorities’ regeneration plans.

“Developers and contractors should work collaboratively to assess timelines for delivery and identify alternative funding routes if necessary to ensure 2023 isn’t a year of declining output.”

 

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