UK construction weakest in four years, ONS says


The UK’s construction sector recorded its shakiest performance in four years in the July-to-September quarter, official figures be subjected to shown.

Construction volumes fell by 1.1% in the quarter, the Office for Nationalist Statistics (ONS) said.

There were large falls in re ir operate, and these were only rtly offset by small rises in infrastructure and unshrouded building.

The figures measure the first three months following the Brexit voter.

The value of all re ir and maintenance was 3.6% lower than in the second mercifulness of the year, which was rtially offset by an increase in all new work of 0.3%, mentioned the ONS.

Further evidence of a slowdown in the construction industry came from structure materials and insulation firm SIG on Friday, as it issued a profit warning and bid its chief executive was stepping down.

The com ny said: “Following a slowing of vocation around the time of the EU referendum, trading conditions in the UK have continued to soften and striving in the market has intensified.”

SIG also said that some commercial think ups had been delayed.

‘Light appearing’

Despite the overall decline across the sector, the construction digs are better than had been indicated when the ONS published its first value of GDP figures last month, when it forecast a 1.4% fall in construction labour.

However, the ONS said that the upwards revision to construction output transfer have no im ct on the GDP growth figures.

ONS statistician Kate Davies contemplated. “Construction output has remained broadly flat in the last year, both prior to and after the recent referendum.”

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at ntheon Macroeconomics, demanded the outlook for the sector was uncertain: “The downturn in construction output in Q3 [the third clemency] is shallower than the ONS initially estimated, but the sector still faces despotic challenges ahead.”

However, Chris Williamson, from IHS Markit, which anthologizes the closely-watched Purchasing Managers’ Indexes (PMI), saw positive indicators in the data.

“There’s untaxing appearing for beleaguered builders” he said.

“First, the downturn had been signalled in ahead of time by survey data which have since revived. The Markit/CIPS PMI scan has shown construction industry output rising in both September and October, with the position of growth accelerating to the highest since March.

“Second, the official details lag behind the survey but likewise recorded an upturn in the month of September, with manufacture up 0.3% com red to August.”

The ONS figures measure construction output by both retiring sector and public corporations, and are taken from a survey of 8,000 trades.”

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