Growth in private housing and commercial work sees output rise 2.5% in the three months to October
The construction industry is continuing to recover, with the latest output figures showing growth largely being driven by strong rises in housing and commercial work.
The Office for National Statistics construction output figures, showed output rose 2.5% in the three months to October, when compared with the previous three months, with the growth driven mainly by private housing (+4.9%) and commercial work (+5.9%).
Repairs and maintenance rose 2.1% when comparing the three months to October with the previous three months, but infrastructure fell by 0.5% and industrial work shrunk by 4.7%.
When comparing the three months to October with the same period a year ago, output was up by 6.4%, with private housing up 16.8%, commercial work up 13.2%, and repairs and maintenance up 6.3%.
However, infrastructure output shrunk by 4.8% when comparing the three months to October with the same period a year ago.
The figures also showed output grew 2.2% in October, compared to September, and 5.3% year-on-year.
Month-on-month the main growth was in infrastructure (+7.5%) and private housing (+5.7%). Year-on-year, private housing grew 19.1% and infrastructure rose 8.7%.
Simon Rawlinson, head of strategic research & insight at EC Harris, said the figures pointed to a “steadier recovery than has been suggested”.
He said: “Output in the quarter is up by over 6% compared to a year ago, but in reality, overall levels of output in 2013 will be no higher than 2012, which was a particularly weak year.”
He said the growth in the commercial sector “catches the eye” and suggested that “some of the growth in orders seen earlier in the year has already converted into work on the ground”.
“The implications of this data are most importantly that there is evidence of sustainable growth outside of the residential sector – which is great news for 2014.
“Secondly, the recovery is not accelerating, also good news as the industry faces the challenge of scaling up to higher levels of activity.
“This Christmas, whilst the house-builders will be looking forward to another rip-roaring year, the wider industry can be increasingly confident of a recovery across all sectors.
“Whether recovery is focused on the South East, or is more broadly based will be a key issue for resource availability in 2014.”
An online poll, originally attached to this story, which asked “Do you think 2014 will be a good year for construction?” has now closed.
The results are shown below.
It looks like you’re feeling optimistic about the new year with 75% saying that you thought 2014 would be a good year for the construction industry.