Wet weather tips construction output back into decline

A combination of stormy weather and falls in private new build housing tipped construction back into decline in October.

Monthly construction output fell 0.5% in volume terms during the month after a brief respite of 0.4% growth in September.

The contraction in monthly output came solely from a decrease in new work (1.7% fall), partially offset by an increase in repair and maintenance (1.3%) on the month.

The main construction sectors experiencing a monthly decrease were private new housing and private commercial new work, down 5.2% and 1.2%, respectively.

Fraser Johns, finance director at Beard Construction said: “While wet and stormy conditions will certainly be a contributing factor to October’s drop in output, it’s the potential storm clouds brewing in the wider economy which is having the biggest impact on both confidence and demand.

“There are positive indicators – inflation coming down, a hold on interest rates and the availability and pricing of supplies.

“However, borrowing conditions still remain particularly tough, as evidenced by the continued slowdown in the house building sector and the ability of clients to pull the trigger on new projects.

He added: “It is not a surprise to see a rise in repair and maintenance.

“While this can reflect the uncertain climate we find ourselves in, it is also a sign of clients actively choosing to maximise the value of existing building stock.”


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