Construction output roars back in Q2 2018
Construction output swung back into life in the second quarter (April to June) of this year, increasing 0.9% after a 0.8% fall in the first quarter (January to March).
The quarter-on-quarter increase in output was driven by a 2.7% increase in repair and maintenance work, with new work remaining flat.
Compared to the same period a year earlier, output in the second quarter of this year increased 0.8% while quarterly industry output has returned to £40.9bn, matching the level recorded at the end of 2017.
The figures, released today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) illustrated the struggles the sector had with adverse weather conditions at the start of the year.
Rebecca Larkin, senior economist at the Construction Products Association, said: "As expected, construction has caught up from its troubled start to the year, with strong growth in May and June as the warmer weather improved ground conditions for sites that stalled during February and March. The industry’s catch-up also helped drive the pickup in Q2 GDP growth to 0.4%.
"As much as it has been a tale of two quarters, there has also been a divergence by type of work. New build activity was unchanged from Q1 and was 0.4% lower than 2017 Q4, as rises in public housing, infrastructure and industrial output were offset by falls in private housing and public sector work. However, all repair and maintenance (R&M) activity rose 2.7% to a record high of £14.2 billion and is now 0.8% higher than at the end of 2017."