Output in the construction sector in Scotland fell by 6.9% in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. This follows six previous quarter-on-quarter falls of construction output, with previous ones averaging about 2.5% a quarter.
Construction output in Northern Ireland, however, was up 6.3%in Q1 2012 compared to Q4 2011 and up by 1.3% year-on-year. This is the third consecutive quarter in which the total volume of construction output has increased.
Commenting on the latest figures from Scotland, Scottish Building Federation chief executive Michael Levack said: “These new Scottish figures show a sixth consecutive quarter of stagnation in the Scottish construction industry. The industry’s performance has slumped so far that we have now returned to the levels of output recorded in mid 2009, when the impact of the recession was at its deepest. Surely that has to be considered a crisis in Scottish construction by any measure.
“Such a dramatic slump requires radical action to turn things around. That’s why we give our full backing to the calls the First Minister is now making on the UK Treasury to release £400m in direct capital spending this financial year to kick-start the long list of shovel-ready projects north of the border that have stalled due to a chronic lack of affordable finance.”