ONS figures show positive start to the year

Construction output dropped 0.9% in the three months to January, driven by a 4.5% fall in new work. 

The latest growth figures from the ONS showed that infrastructure new work and private housing new work were the biggest contributors to the decline, dropping 9.3% and 5.2% respectively. 

By contrast, repair and maintenance work grew 4%, with growth in both the private housing and non-housing sectors. 


Growing construction output helped edge GDP up in January, the ONS said

Despite the quarterly decline, output increased 1.1% in volume terms in January itself, reversing a trend of decline which had persisted for three months. Output in the month was valued at £15.4bn. 

The increase in monthly output came from increases in both new work (1.1%) and repair and maintenance (1.2%). 

Six out of the nine construction sectors saw an increase on the month, with the main contributors being private new housing (2.6%) and non-housing repair and maintenance (1.9%). 

Across the economy, GDP grew 0.2% in January after falling in December. Output fell 0.1% in the three months to January, compared with the three months to October 2023. 

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“The sector as a whole has certainly started the year with greater confidence and a real sense of optimism, with an increase in new work in January contributing to a rise in construction output,” said Fraser Johns, finance director at contractor Beard.  

“A key factor is shifting sentiment around the future prospects of the market and the economy, with an improved outlook for both giving clients the necessary confidence to commit to new projects.”