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Warmer weather sees construction output rise

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Monthly construction output is estimated to have grown in volume by 1.9 per cent in May, latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows.

Credit: Scott Blake Unsplash

According to ONS data, this resulted from a 2.7 per cent increase in new work and 0.8 per cent increase in maintenance.

The reported growth follows a fall of 1.1 per cent in April this year (revised from a fall of 1.4 per cent).

The ONS cites anecdotal evidence from survey returns noted that warmer weather contributed to increased output in May.

Clive Docwra, managing director of property and construction consultancy McBains, said: “After previous statistics showed the construction sector lagging behind the modest uptick in growth witnessed in other industries, today’s figures are much better than expected.

“Especially welcome is that growth was experienced across most work sectors, with new housing seeing a 2.8 per ent increase.”

Eight out of nine sectors saw growth in May, with the main contributors from new housing (2.8 per cent) with both private and public new housing increasing in May.

Behind that, infrastructure new work (3.5 per cent) and  non-housing repair and maintenance (2.1 per cent).

However, Construction output is estimated to have fallen by 0.7 per cent in the three months to May 2024; due to a 0.9 per cent decrease in new work, and 0.3 per cent fall in repair and maintenance.

Docwra added: “Whether or not this represents the green shoots of recovery, however, is unclear — growth is still fragile.”

“Despite these returns, the sector still needs a shot in the arm, and developers will hope Labour’s announcement this week to get the country building translates into renewed confidence from investors, both in housing and commercial projects.

“Every sector within the industry will also be crossing their fingers for a period of economic stability to help construction across the board get back on track.”

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