Private housing work drops 7% but public housing and infrastructure outputs rise in second quarter

Overall construction output recorded its first quarterly fall since 2004, according to the latest government data.

The 0.5% fall in the second three months of the year was led by a 7% drop in private housing work on the previous quarter, with just £4.3bn of work on the stocks, the lowest amount since 2004.

Private housing work is now 15% off its peak in the second quarter of last year.

However the figures, from the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), show the construction market being propped up by still growing public infrastructure works, public housing work and repair and maintenance.

The total construction output for the quarter, of £31.5bn, is 0.8% higher than the same period last year.

BERR normally releases information on construction employment at the same time as the quarterly business output figures, but said that it was conducting a review of this data “in order to provide consistent and coherent information on construction employment” and consequently would not be releasing the figures.