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  • The April Glenigan Index, covering 2015 Q1, found the value of construction starts unchanged on a year earlier. The value of non-residential building starts fell by a mild 1%, the first drop since July 2013, as new commercial activity weakened. Residential starts were flat on a year earlier and civil engineering edged up 3%. Starts failed to see further growth after rapid expansion this time last year; the first quarter of 2014 saw activity rise by 22%, fuelled by a 33% increase in residential starts and a 20% rise in the non-residential sector.
  • Construction output grew at a weaker pace in March according to the Markit/CIPS Construction PMI, with civil engineering growth in particular easing. Job creation continued during the month, but at the slowest pace since December 2013. However the survey found 57% of respondents forecasting a rise in output over the next year against just 3% expecting a fall, equating to “the strongest degree of construction sector optimism for just over nine years”. 


  • UK labour productivity fell in the final quarter of 2014 according to ONS statistics, continuing a concerning long term trend of no growth in productivity since the start of the economic downturn in 2007. Output per hour worked fell by 0.2% from the third quarter; and over 2014 as a whole rose by just 0.1%. Output per job saw a slightly higher rise of 0.4% due to workers working more hours on average. The ONS stated that an “absence of productivity growth in the seven years since 2007 is unprecedented” in records going back to 1948. 
  • In the construction industry, output per hour increased by 3.1% in 2014. Output per job increased by 5.7%, again due to workers working more hours on average. It should be noted that estimates for the construction industry are experimental statistics. 

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