Figure falls 1.9% with rainfall blamed for delaying jobs 

Heavy rain helped put the brakes on construction output in February with the month’s inclement weather sending the figure into reverse, official figures said today.

Output fell by 1.9% during the month with poor weather delayed planned work, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported.

The Met Office said that February was the fourth wettest on record in England “with the southern half of the UK seeing more than twice the average rainfall during the month.


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Heavy rain like this in Cambridgeshire helped send construction output into reverse during February, the ONS said

Fraser Johns, the finance director of Beard, which carries out jobs across southern England, added: “Our experience [is] that poor weather had a lot to do with [the output fall].”

The ONS said the biggest contributor to the fall came from infrastructure work which fell 5.5% with eight of the nine sectors covered all falling.

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But there was better news for housing with private housing repair and maintenance sector seeing a rise of 0.2% during the month.

Hopes of housing-led recovery are linked to a fall in interest rates and Allan Kelly, restructuring partner at accountant FRP, said: “With the base rate forecast to fall in the coming months, inflation dropping and the government having recently published its long-awaited guidance on second stairways in tall buildings, contractors will be hopeful of a resi-led recovery through the course of the summer.

Overall GDP grew by 0.1% in February while the ONS revised up its growth figure in January from 0.2% to 0.3%.