ONS statistics for April 2015 show a decrease of 0.8% in construction output compared with March, when output increased 1.4%. New work increased by 1.6%, driven by new housing, which was up 5.4%. In the first quarter, construction is estimated to have fallen by 0.2%. New orders were estimated to have increased by 0.4% from the previous quarter and by 8% y/y. There were increases in infrastructure (18.6%), private industrial (6.1%) and new housing (1.2%).
On a year-on-year basis, output in the construction industry increased by 1.5% in April 2015 compared to April 2014. This is the 23rd consecutive month of year-on-year growth, but the weakest rate since November 2013.
Commenting on the figures, Chris Temple, Engineering and Construction Leader at PwC, said:
“Despite these latest figures, we continue to expect the sector to show solid, healthy growth during 2015. In the run-up to the general election we saw a temporary slowdown in new orders. However, we don’t expect that this will be significant enough to counteract the upward trend of growth for the year, and there is still strong confidence in the sector for 2015 and beyond.
“There is a lack of large infrastructure projects at the moment, accounting for the lull in that part of the sector. Furthermore, uncertainty about the economy in Europe has knock-on effects for business confidence and the short-term order books of construction firms. But political certainty in the UK after the general election and further details on the government’s plans for most subsectors including infrastructure should give the sector more confidence.
“Construction firms will look to the government to give further clarity on its plans in the forthcoming Summer Budget. We’re confident that this temporary slowdown won’t become a longer-term trend, and our clients are optimistic for their growth prospects in the rest of 2015. Overall the picture for the construction sector remains healthy."
Adapted from press releases by Katherine Guenioui
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/15062015/uk-construction-output-figures-for-april-2015-7/