Rise driven by uptick in repair and maintenance work

Construction output edged up in September driven by a rise in repair and maintenance work, the latest official figures from the Office for National Statistics have said.

Output rose by 0.4% on the back of a 2% rise in repair and maintenance work reversing overall output declines in July and  August.

But new work fell by 0.8% although the severity of the fall was offset by a 3% rise in new commercial work.

Bagged cement shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Repair and maintenance work helped reverse two months of decline in output

The finance director at regional contractor Beard, Fraser Johns, said: “The message remains the same: we must remain open and transparent in our conversations with clients and stakeholders, all while doing what we can to minimise pressure on cost plans.”

The ONS said the annual rate of construction price inflation has now slowed to 3.9% in the 12 months to September, down from the record annual price growth in May 2022 of 10.4%.

Despite tentative signs of an improvement, Clive Docwra, the boss of consultant McBains, warned: “Our clients tell us that borrowing costs are still deterring some investments, and while interest rates may have peaked, the longer-term outlook remains uncertain.”