Figures from the ONS record a 0.7% year-on-year decrease in construction output, the first since May 2013


Construction ouput decreased for the first time year-on-year in over two years in July, according to the latest figures published by the ONS.

Output fell 0.7% in July compared to this month in 2014 - the first year-on-year decrease recorded since May 2013. Output in July was down 1% month-on-month on June.

All new work decreased by 1.5% month-on-month, led by a 5.8% drop in new public housing, while all repair and maintenance showed no growth.

Rebecca Larkin, economist at the Construction Products Association, called the annual decline “disappointing,” but said the organisation’s own forecasts still pointed to growth in the industry over the next few years.

She added that the decline in the public housing sector was unsurprising in light of the government’s current focus on austerity.

Commenting on the figures, Michael Thirkettle, chief executive of McBains Cooper said the drop in output was “worrying news” for the construction industry.

He added: “There is a chronic housing shortage and although we welcome government plans to build 200,000 new homes by 2020, there is no chance of that number being built unless desperate skills shortages in the industry are addressed.”