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Construction output figures released for the three months to February 2018
Construction output figures released for the three months to February 2018

Construction output figures released for the three months to February 2018

Construction output figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have reiterated the effect that the poor weather conditions have had on the industry in recent months.

Anecdotal evidence sent to the ONS reveals some respondents suffered in the final week of February because of the adverse weather conditions, with severe snow affecting the ability of construction sites to function and projects to move forward.

It contributes to another fall in the three-month on three-month series, with construction output figures showing a 0.8% drop in activity in the three months to February 2018.

This represents a more comprehensive look at output in the industry than the monthly series, which also reveals a drop, but this is more prone to fluctuations.

In terms of the three-month on three-month series, it is the fourth successive decline in output, though the fall is slightly less than the 1% recorded to the three months to January.

The chief reason for the fall of construction output figures in the three months to February was predominantly driven by the decline in repair and maintenance – which fell by 2.6% in February 2018.

In comparison to February 2017, activity in the construction sector fell by 3% in February 2018, which is the biggest month-on-year fall since March 2013.

However, despite this decline, the level of output in February was still comfortably ahead of the lowest point in the last five years, recorded in April 2013. Output in February is more than 24% above this.

In the monthly series, output also declined, this time by 1.6% in February compared with January. However, the decrease is not nearly as steep as the 3.1% from the previous month.

All new work fell in February, by 1.7%, while repair and maintenance dropped by 1.5%.

Darren Morgan, Head of National Accounts, said: “Construction fell in the three months to February after an erratic couple of months, mainly due to a big decline in repair work. However, this was partially offset by growth in both infrastructure and housebuilding.”

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