Construction output in the month of April experienced a slight increase of 0.5%, according to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The news of an increase in activity in the sector when compared to March 2018 is a welcome and much needed boost for the industry, following three consecutive months of decline.
According to the figures released by the ONS, output increased by £68 million in April, with a rise in all new work attributed to increases in the value of infrastructure and private commercial new work.
Non-housing repair and maintenance was responsible for a £34 million rise in output, contributing significantly to growth.
There was a “sustained fall” in public other new work, while total housing repair and maintenance also fell for the month.
Despite this slight bounce back in the monthly series of construction output, the three-month series continued to display decline in the sector, with activity falling by 3.4% in the three months to April.
This represents the largest fall in output in the three-month on three-month series since August 2012.
The data from ONS puts this decline down to decreases in both repair and maintenance (3%) and new work (3.7%).
Rob Kent-Smith, Head of National Accounts at the ONS, said: “While construction output saw a small bounceback in April after a poor start to the year, over the longer-term, this sector continues to contract with significant falls across most types of work.
“Construction orders fell for a second successive quarter after recent boosts from large rail projects.
“However, new housing orders reached their highest level since before the economic downturn.”
It is clearly a worrying trend when the quarterly series of output shows consistent declines. However, the slight recovery in April means that the construction industry remains a healthy 23.4% above its lowest level of output, recorded in April 2013.