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Fri May 14 2021

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February's rain dampens output stats

9 Apr 20 Latest data from the Office for National Statistics confirm that the UK construction industry was already in decline before the coronavirus arrived.

Construction output in mainland Britain fell by 0.2% in the three months to February 2020, compared with the previous three-month period. While there was a 0.6% growth in new work, this was offset by a 1.7% fall in repair & maintenance output.

The rise in new work in the three months to February 2020 was driven by growth in infrastructure and public other new work, which grew by 2.8% and 4.5% respectively; no other new work sectors saw growth. The fall in repair & maintenance was driven by a 5.6% fall in private housing repair and maintenance.

In February itself, construction output fell by 1.7% compared to January, dipping to £13,522m. This is the largest fall in monthly growth since October 2019 when it fell 2.4%.

February’s decline was driven by a 3.4% fall in new work, which more than offset 1.7% growth in repair and maintenance.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) economists suggest that this is likely to have been due to the bad weather seen during February 2020 – it was the wettest February since records began in 1862.

As the data was collected before 29th February, the coronavirus is unlikely to have had much impact on these numbers.

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