August construction figures dismal

Sarah Davidson

October 9, 2015

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed all new work decreased in August 2015 compared with July 2015 by 3.6%, repair and maintenance decreased by 5.6% over the same period. All work types reported decreases.

Comparing the three months, June 2015 to August 2015, with the previous three months, March 2015 to May 2015, construction output fell by 0.8%. Repair and maintenance decreased by 3.6% while all new work increased by 0.7%.

Paul Hollingsworth, UK economist at Capital Economics, said: “August’s construction figures were dismal. Indeed, construction output fell by a monthly 4.3%, far weaker than the consensus expectation of a 1% rise.

“This may partly have reflected the wetter-than-usual weather in August, and accordingly could be partly reversed in September.

“Nonetheless, the latest figures add to other evidence suggesting that the pace of the economic recovery slowed in Q3, and remained unbalanced. However, with consumer and business confidence remaining strong, real wages rising robustly and credit conditions improving, we remain confident that the recovery will regain its momentum soon.”

Stephen Wasserman, director of West One Loans, said: “In a week when we have again heard the Prime Minister address the UK’s housing shortage, the statistics show that, as a nation, we are talking the talk but failing to walk the walk. Construction activity is not only down on a monthly basis, but has fallen on an annual level for the first time in more than two years.”

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