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1.4% growth in construction output

March 2020

The new construction output figures from the ONS, published 11th March, show that construction output increased by 1.4% in the three months to January 2020, compared with the previous three-month period.  This rise was driven by 2.4% growth in new work, but offset by a 0.6% fall in repair and maintenance.

The rise in new work in the three months to January 2020 was across all sectors, with the largest positive contributions coming from private housing, private commercial, and infrastructure, which increased by 2.4%, 2.1% and 1.7% respectively.

In repair and maintenance, the fall in the three months to January 2020 was due to a fall in private housing, which decreased by 5.6%.  Public housing repair and maintenance, and non-housing repair and maintenance, increased by 2.0% and 2.4% respectively.

Construction output decreased by 0.8% in the month-on-month all work series in January 2020.  This was driven by a 2.4% fall in repair and maintenance, as new work saw flat growth (0.0%).

Commenting on the figures, Clive Docwra, Managing Director of McBains, said: “The construction sector will give a cautious welcome to these figures, in particular positive growth in private housing, private commercial and infrastructure work. Underlying long-term growth is still fragile however, with the figures showing volatile patterns over previous months, and the industry will be looking with interest at the Chancellor’s budget later today for any announcements that will give the sector a much-needed boost.”

“Clarity on growth over the next few months is doubly important as the impact of coronavirus is an unknown quantity. If workers have to self-isolate, this will trigger a dip in activity, and if financial market values continue to fall then this will also have an impact on investors’ capacity to commit to new projects.”

More at: www.mcbains.co.uk

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