Construction shrunk 0.9% in first quarter comp ared to 0.6% growth for overall economy, official figures say

Wet weather helped put the brakes on construction output in March with workloads falling by 0.4% during the month, official figures said.

New work was down 0.7% while repair and maintenance slipped 0.1%, the Office for National Statistics said, adding that the “mixed effects” of wet weather meant output decresed.

Among the sectors to fall in March were infrastructure new work and non-housing repair and maintenance.


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Wet weather hit construction output in March, the ONS said

Output across the first quarter was down 0.9% compared to the final quarter of 2023 but new orders were up 16% on the last three months of 2023 to come in at £1.436bn. Private commercial work accounted for half the rise with a growth of 28% to £700m.

Aecom’s head of programme, project and cost management, Scott Motley, warned: “We expect the pipeline of new work to reduce in the second half of 2024, especially while interest rates remain high and the impending general election gives rise to a pause in infrastructure investment decisions.”

The broader economy grew by 0.6% in the first quarter of the year, as the UK officially moved out of recession.