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June 2015: update on construction statistics in the UK

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World Cement,

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the UK’s construction sector shrank by 0.8% between March and April 2015. Comparing this year’s output levels with April last year showed an increase of 1.5%, demonstrating that the longer term growth trends are improving.

It is clear that the housing sector is the main component of growth within the industry. New private housing increased by 4.5% between March and April 2015 and 16.6% from the corresponding month in 2014. Concurrently, new public housing increased by 9.4 and 3.6%, respectively. Output in the private commercial sector fell by 0.2% between March and April, and by 5.2% in April 2014.

Infrastructure decreased by 2.2% but is 9.7% higher than April 2014, which highlights that the growth patterns within the industry are broadly reliant on housing, although the yearly increase in infrastructure output is encouraging.

The ONS/Barbour ABI new orders for 1Q15 showed that total order levels increased by 0.4% between 4Q14 and 1Q15 and were 8.0% higher than a year ago. Yearly growth was recorded in the private housing sector, infrastructure, industrial and commercial sectors, indicating a broadening growth in new orders.

The Construction Products Association (CPA)/Barbour ABI index, which measures the level of contracts awarded, using January 2010 as its base month, recorded a reading of 138 for May. This shows no change from the previous month and continues to support the view that overall activity in the industry remains strong. The readings for private housing increased in the month after falling over recent months. However, commercial offices decreased to a reading of 115, down from 129 in April.

According to Barbour ABI data on all contract activity, May 2015 witnessed an increase in construction activity levels, with the value of new contracts awarded at £5.6 billion, based on a three month rolling average. This is a 1.4% increase from April and a 7% increase on the value recorded in May 2014. The number of construction projects within the UK in May decreased by 9.3% on April’s figure and was 4.9% lower than May 2014.

Adapted from press release by

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