New housing weighed heavily on output, falling by 2.6% in February.

UK construction output fell 1.7% in February compared with the previous month, driven by a fall in all new work, notably infrastructure activity.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed on a quarterly-on-quarterly basis, output rose by 1.5%. However following a strong January, February dipped, with infrastructure work down in the month by 7.3%.

New housing also weighed heavily on output, the ONS said, falling month-on-month by 2.6% in February. Repair and maintenance showed growth, bouncing back from negative growth in January, increasing 1.2%.

Commenting on the latest data, Michael Thirkettle, chief executive of McBains Cooper said the figures were “more bad news” for the domestic construction sector.

“The big ticket issue remains the impact of Brexit. So far it’s not led to the problems many feared when sterling took a hit following the referendum result last summer, but the future looks much less rosy. This is because a significant proportion of UK construction workers are from the EU, as high as a quarter of the total in London.

“With a prospect of acrimonious divorce negotiations with the 27 EU countries taking place over the next two years and no promise of freedom of movement being retained, many of these workers could decide to head home for good. This would be disastrous for UK projects, not least the government’s ambitious housebuilding targets.”