No excitement’ over slight increase in construction work

Stats said to translate to a fall in the number of homes.


A top construction consultant says the sector won’t be too excited over stats showing a slight increase in work that translates to a fall I the number of homes.

Released today (Oct 10) by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the stats show construction output up 0.1% in the three-month on three-month all work series in August 2019.

According to ONS, this was driven by a rise in new work of 0.5% but offset by a fall in repair and maintenance of 0.8%.

“These latest figures show minimal growth overall but no-one in the industry will be getting too excited,” said Clive Docwra, Managing Director of construction consulting and design agency McBains.

“The trends show that the industry is experiencing a mixed profile of monthly growth, with falls in March, April and June largely offset by increases in May, July and August – there was also a month-on-month decrease in new work of 0.2% in August.

“This fall in new work reflects the industry being at a crossroads as the Brexit situation remains unclear, with the longer-term picture one of investor restraint and a weakness in the housing market translating into a fall in the numbers of homes,” he said.

In new work, the increase in the three-month on three-month series in August 2019 was driven by private new housing, private commercial and public new housing, with rises of 1.0%, 0.9% and 3.6% respectively.

In repair and maintenance, the fall in the three-month on three-month series in August 2019 was largely because of the 3.5% decline in private housing repair and maintenance, with a smaller contribution from a 0.2% fall in non-housing repair and maintenance.

Construction output increased by 0.2% in the month-on-month all work series in August 2019; this was driven by a rise of 1.1% in repair and maintenance, offset somewhat by a fall in new work of 0.2%.


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