Sluggish growth leaves output 4.4% down on same point last year

Construction industry output grew by 0.4% in August on the previous month, according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics.

However, the small recovery in the non-seasonally adjusted figures leaves August output still 4.1% below the same month in 2010.

Additionally, all of the month on month growth was in repair and maintenance work, with new work slipping 0.4%.

Over the three months up to and including August, output was 1.9% lower, with new work down 1.8% and repair and maintenance work down 2.2%.

Over the same three month period the industrial sector showed a dramatic  24.9% fall in new work, with further steep falls in public work and repair and maintenance of private homes.

A 10.8% growth in infrastructure and 3.3% growth in private housing helped to make up the shortfall.

Commenting on the figures, Michael Conroy Harris, construction specialist at international law firm Eversheds, said: “This isn’t more bad news for the construction industry, it’s more a case of having the same bad news drummed into us again.

“Today marks a month since Nick Clegg announced that Whitehall would put its foot on the accelerator and hand-pick up to 40 infrastructure projects, giving them new special priority status. The industry should be focusing on the prospect of new construction work rather than fixating on figures.”