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Construction output sees ‘moderate’ growth in February

12 April 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Image: Dreamstime / Bogdan Hoda

There was “moderate” growth in construction output in February 2019, according to the latest government figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recorded a 0.4% month-on-month rise in output for all types of work during February.

However, there was a drop in output of 0.6% in the three-month on three-month all work series, which the ONS said was largely due to weakness in December 2018.

February makes the third consecutive decline in the three-month on three-month series, with a “general trend of slowing growth since mid-2018”.

New work fell by 0.4% in the three-month on three-month period, driven by a decline in private commercial new work, which declined by 3.7%, and non-housing repair and maintenance which fell by 2.6%.

In the month-on-month series, there was a 1.1% increase in all new work, while all repair and maintenance fell by 1% in February.

The ONS put the “modest” month-on-month growth in all work down to increases in private housing and infrastructure.

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: “The first three months of 2019 have been shrouded in uncertainty and a steady stream of votes in parliament has seen MPs and the country distracted from the business of doing business. It is no surprise that construction output decreased during this time, with the constant threat of the UK crashing out of the EU with a no-deal, hanging over everyone’s heads.

“It is however positive to see infrastructure projects grow by 12.6% compared to February 2018, while new public housing saw annual growth of 14.7%. Both infrastructure and social housing are vitally important to the success of our local communities.”

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