Lingering Brexit gloom blamed for output drop in October

Construction output suffered a surprise fall in October, decreasing 0.6% compared to the previous month, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

The ONS said the fall was mainly down to a 0.9% decrease in new work during the month.

Economists had exepected growth of 0.2% in October, after a rise of 0.9% in September.

However, output was still up 0.7% on October 2015.

Mark Robinson, chief executive of Scape Group, blamed lingering Brexit gloom for the fall: “Today’s drop in construction output shows signs of the construction industry continuing to suffer from the uncertainty triggered by the Brexit decision earlier this year.

“The gloom is still lingering as output falters not only on the year but is also more depressed on the month, as a lack of confidence, the prospect of a diminishing number of skilled workers and the struggling pound are working simultaneously to plague construction firms.

“However, today’s data provides a snapshot of the market in October and since then we have seen further government commitments to infrastructure and housing in the Autumn Statement which should start to provide the sector with a much needed boost.”