Latest ONS data shows output in quarter three rose by 0.6%
A rise in new work pushed construction output up by 0.6%, or £253m, in the three months to the end of September, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The increase in new work was boosted by private industrial, up 7.2%, new housing (1.8%) and private commercial (1.5%).
The new work output hike was tempered by a fall in repair and maintenance of 0.8%, driven by a 3% decline in private housing.
Month-on-month September saw overall construction output dip 0.2%, with a 2.1% fall in repair and maintenance being partially offset by a rise in new work of 0.7%.
Industry figures expected the slowdown in September, where the UK economy narrowly avoided going into recession, to continue.
Clive Docwra, managing director of consultant McBains, said the delay to Brexit would be remain an issue.
“Business and investors hate uncertainty,” Docwra said. “The continuing saga of if and when the UK leaves the EU, plus the added unpredictability of the general election, means there will be a continued reluctance to commit funding to new projects.”
Docwra called for “strong policy commitments” from the major parties to boost housebuilding, which he said was “failing to deliver the number of homes required to meet the housing shortage”.
And Mark Robinson, chief executive of framework group Scape, said politicians’ spending promises highlighted “the huge disconnect between both parties and what is happening on the ground.
“‘Shovel ready’ projects take years to prepare and snap decision-making will likely see us making unwise commitments to projects that will become unviable down the line.”
Both chancellor Sajid Javid and his Labour shadow John McDonnell should focus on rectifying the stop-start nature of project work, Robinson added, “and commit to completing current infrastructure projects, such as Crossrail and HS2”.