UK construction industry output up in December

Construction industry output fell in the fourth quarter of 2015 but figures for December saw an increase of 1.5% according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics.

Quarter four (October to December) decreased by 0.4% in comparison with the previous quarter (July to September), but increased by 0.4% compared to the same period in 2014.

The drop in output was linked to a 3.9% reduction in new infrastructure work and a fall in repair and maintenance of 0.5%.

December experienced an increase of 1.5% from November, driven by 2.6% rise in all new work.

In comparison to the previous year, output in the construction industry in 2015 increased by 3.4%, with all new work increasing by 6.8%. Repair and maintenance, however, fell by 2.2%.

There was good news in terms of housebuilding though with the sector seeing its fastest increase since mid 2014, seeing a rise of 4.1%, compared to a 5.7 decrease in quarter three.

Commenting on the release, Martin Bennett, a Regional Director of The Vinden Partnership – a leading multi-disciplinary consultant company to the built environment – said: “The drop in output in the fourth quarter is a slight disappointment but there is some encouraging news within these figures.

“Comparing 2015’s figures with the previous year shows that output increased by 3.4%. Also looking at just December’s stats, output for the industry rose by 1.5%, recovering well from the decrease reported by the ONS in November.

“The rise in new work throughout the entirety of 2015 in comparison with 2014 shows that the construction industry is heading in the right direction.

“Housebuilding beginning to pick up pace is also extremely welcome news and something we want to see continue into the future.”