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Construction at lowest output since 2012

ONS figures have revealed that construction output decreased 2.7 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

The fall was broad-based but was led by an 8.8 percent decline in public house building activity and a 5.9 percent reduction in public non-housing work. Private housing output recorded a fall of 1.6 percent over the quarter.

Compared to a year earlier, total output was 4.9 percent lower during Q1.

Rebecca Larkin, senior economist at the Construction Products Association, said: “This release confirms what was reported in preliminary GDP data: construction had a poor opener to 2018. The 2.7 percent contraction in output was revised up from the initial estimate of a 3.3 percent decline, but this still represents the weakest out-turn since August 2012 and a £1.04 billion loss in output in three months.

“Output declined in each month of the quarter, undoubtedly capturing the pauses in work relating to Carillion’s liquidation in January and the snow disruption in February and March.

“Notably, private housing lost its position as the industry’s star performer, with output falling from a record high, but activity is expected to accelerate as we enter the Spring selling season.” 

11 May 2018

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