February fall for GB

By Thomas Allen16 April 2018

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A 1.6% fall in Great Britain’s construction output in February was led by a 9.4% fall in activity in the infrastructure sector, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Monthly data can be volatile, but even on a three-month basis, output was still 0.8% lower.

The figures capture some of the impact of the snow disruption earlier in the year.

Rebecca Larkin, senior economist at the UK’s Construction Products Association, said, “Output for the month was £206 million (€238.3 million) lower than in January and whilst it cannot all be attributed to weather disruption, a pause in activity on sites across the country would have been unavoidable.

“Infrastructure had a weak start to 2018, with rail and road work affected by freezing conditions, but days were also lost as contracts were handed over on former Carillion projects.”

The only sector in which output did not fall was private housing, which is the largest construction sector. It recorded 1.5% month-on-month growth and a 2.8% rise on a three-month basis. Compared to a year earlier, output in the sector was up 7.6% – even before the traditional spring increase in house building activity.

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