The recovery of construction sector output continued in the third quarter of 2018, with an increase of 2.1% recorded.
In the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the upturn in construction sector output covers the months of July to September.
When set against the first quarter of the year, which saw a fall of 1.6%, and Q2 of April to June – where a 0.8% increase was recorded, the figures are even more encouraging.
Although the construction sector output in the three months to September wasn’t quite as strong as those for the three months to July or August, there has been enough of a swing from the worries earlier in the year to suggest the trend is going in the right direction.
The growth in the three-month series has been accompanied by further output increases in the monthly series; this is also a positive for the sector, but the three-month increase is most pleasing because this is a more accurate measure of the underlying trends in the wider industry, and therefore less susceptible to inaccuracies that one volatile month could bring.
For the three months to September, both all new work and repair and maintenance increased, by 2.8% and 1% respectively.
The former accounts for two thirds of all work in construction, while the latter represents one third of work.
In terms of the monthly output, the figures also make encouraging reading, with a 1.7% increase in activity within the sector.
The primary driver of this increase was a 2.8% rise in all new work, though this was partly offset by a slight fall in repair and maintenance.
The data in September in terms of the all work chained volume measure, seasonally adjusted series, has reached a high that has not been seen since records began back in January 2010.
It is more than 28% above the low point of the last five years, recorded in September 2013.