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20th June 2016
Construction output picked up in April from the weak level seen in March, but remained down on the level of a year ago, according to official statistics published by ONS. During the three months to April 2016 output fell 2.1% against the preceding three months and was 2.8% lower than a year ago. The drop follows the weakening in project starts reported by Glenigan last year, with the earlier drop in projects starts reducing the volume of work currently underway on sites across the country.
Repair & maintenance work saw the most marked weakening in output during the three months to April, slipping 2.7% against the preceding three months and being 2.8% down on a year ago. The year on year decline was largely attributable to sharp declines in non-housing R&M and social housing RM&I work, although there has also been a recent weakening in private housing RM&I work.
Output on new build projects slipped 1.7% during the February to April and 2016 was 2.5% down on a year earlier. New work activity was hit by a sharp falls in industrial and infrastructure work, which were respectively 15.3% and 12.4% down on a year ago. Public sector housing activity was also down sharply (17.5%) on a year earlier while public non-residential work was 4.6% lower.
In contrast, private residential construction remains a growth area. Private housing output during the three months to April was 5.4% up on the preceding three months and 8.0% higher than a year ago.
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