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Construction output down for third consecutive quarter

ONS figures have shown that construction output fell by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. This was revised up from the preliminary estimate of -1 percent published last month, but marked the third straight quarter of decline.

 

Rebecca Larkin, senior economist at the Construction Products Association, said: “Overall growth in construction activity slowed significantly over the course of 2017, with output falling since Q2 and rising only 0.9 percent in annual terms in Q4.

“The quarter saw continued growth in private housing driven by five years of the Help to Buy equity loan, and early work on major projects such as the Thames Tideway Tunnel driving a 0.7 percent rise in infrastructure. However, even with the government’s £7.4 bn equity loan outlay so far, and a further £10 billion set aside, house building activity could not offset the broad downturn in R&M, commercial and industrial.

“Underscoring the supportive effects of the government’s Help to Buy policy, private housing output is now 28.8 percent higher than its pre-recession peak. By contrast, commercial output is 26.4 percent below its historic high, whilst industrial output is 28.5 percent lower.” 

 

9 February 2018

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