Modest growth in construction output was experienced by the industry in the first quarter according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The figures show that construction output increased by 1.0% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2019; this increase was driven by repair and maintenance output, which increased by 2.9%. New work experienced no growth (0.0%) across Quarter 1 2019, as increases in infrastructure and public other new work of 5.6% and 3.3% respectively were offset by decreases in private commercial and housing new work of 4.7% and 1.2% respectively.
Construction output decreased by 1.9% in the month-on-month all work series in March 2019; driven by falls in both new work and repair and maintenance, which fell by 1.8% and 2.2% respectively. Construction output saw weakness throughout all months in Quarter 4 2018, particularly December 2018, which saw month-on-month growth of negative 2.5%.
So far, 2019 has shown a recovery in the industry, especially in January, which experienced a month-on-month growth of 3.3%. Private new commercial work increased by 2.2% in March but suffered overall in the month-on-year series, falling by 5.4%.
The fall in new work in March 2019 was the bigger contributor to the decline seen in all work, due to the relative difference in the sizes of new work, and repair and maintenance. The month-on-month decrease of 1.8% in March 2019 in new work was driven by declines in private new housing, infrastructure, and public other new work, which fell by 5.1%, 4.2% and 2.9% respectively.
The month-on-month March 2019 decline in the repair and maintenance series, was driven by housing repair and maintenance, with private and public housing repair and maintenance experiencing falls of 3.1% and 8.9% respectively. Similarly to new work, the repair and maintenance series fell to its lowest level since December 2018.
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