Output up in August, but three-month figure down on 2016
Construction output grew 0.6% in August 2017, compared to the previous month, predominantly driven by a 1.7% rise in new work.
The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) attributes the month-on-month rise in new work to a growth in private housing, which grew 2.3%, and infrastructure, which increased by 3.6%.
Construction output in August 2017 was 3.5% higher than August 2016, according to ONS data.
However, construction output fell by 0.8% in the three months to August 2017 compared with the previous three months. The three-month timeline is considered to give a more accurate picture of what is happening in the construction industry.
The June-August year-on-year decline in output was due to decreases in both repair and maintenance, which fell 0.6% and all new work, which fell 0.9%.
Commenting on today's data, Mark Robinson, chief executive at procurement specialist Scape Group, said: “It is comforting to see construction figures beat expectations today – it is particularly promising to see infrastructure work on the up, rising almost 5% on the year and 4% on the month.
“Infrastructure investment is the primary tool in the chancellor’s toolbox for supporting the sector in the medium to long term, and the government must give more road and rail projects the green light in the autumn Budget. This is no time for modest gestures.
“The government must also promote cross-party support for long-term infrastructure projects, including Heathrow expansion and a ‘Crossrail for the North’ that will support the whole of UK.
“Only by doing this will the UK remain a pioneering leader on the world stage.”