Latest quarterly figures show sharp decline

Output in the Scottish construction industry fell by 3.6% in the last three months, according to the latest update from the Scottish government.

However, the sharp rises in the construction sector recorded last year means the year-on-year figure is still showing a 13.9% growth in output, faster than the growth recorded across the UK as a whole last year.

The quarterly fall almost brought the economy as a whole to a standstill, with 0.1% growth in total GDP for the quarter, and 1.3% growth year on year.

Scottish government finance secretary John Swinney said: “While there was a further fallback in the construction sector in the aftermath of the severe winter weather, it follows previous quarters of strong growth, with construction output up significantly over the year and by more than across the UK.

“In terms of employment, workforce construction jobs increased by 11.6% in the year to March, compared to a 0.2% fall in the UK as a whole.

“However, Scotland’s recovery needs to be strengthened, and the GDP figures underline the urgent need for an economic Plan B, or flexibility, from the UK government.”