More houses? Maybe not: “UK construction output falls at fastest rate in six years in January”

Construction output suffered its biggest monthly drop in six years, figures for January show, confirming that the sector’s recession drags on into this year.

The Office for National Statistics reported that UK builders’ work volumes fell by 3.4 per cent in the month, the largest month-on-month decline since June 2012.

There were deep drops private commercial construction work on the previous month as well as in private housing, which will concern ministers who are trying to drive up constriction rates.

On a year-on-year basis total construction output fell by 0.5 per cent, worsening from the 0.2 per cent rate of contraction in December.


“The sector was feeling as flat as a pancake in February with falls in new orders for the second month in a row, and with just a marginal rise in overall activity, as ongoing political and economic uncertainty shouldered the blame,” said Duncan Brock of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.

Civil engineering activity contracted at its sharpest pace for five months, according to the latest survey.

Housebuilding was also weak again, putting it on track for its weakest three-month performance since the third quarter of 2016. …”