New Build Work Boosts Construction Output

Monthly construction output growth in December 2019 led to a record high in both the quarterly and monthly work

CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT ROSE by 0.5% to record levels in the last three months of 2019, with growth in all sectors apart from private new housing and public other new work.

The information, released by the Office for National Statistics, showed growth in new work of 0.8%, offset by a drop in repair and maintenance work of 0.1%.

In terms of new work, the largest positive contributions came from private commercial and public new housing, which grew by 2.5% and 8.4% respectively.

However work on private new housing and public other new work both fell by 1.1%.

Repair and maintenance

The drop in repair and maintenance was driven by a 2.9% fall in in private housing repair and maintenance.

In comparison, non-housing and public housing repair and maintenance grew 1.6% and 0.9% respectively.

Growth in Quarter 4 2019 was driven by private commercial, public new housing, and non-housing repair and maintenance

Private housing has also struggled when it comes to new orders, with an 8.5% fall for the quarter.

However this was more than offset by a 11.2% rise in all other work, bringing the total new order growth to 4.4%.

Resilience in the sector

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB)

Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), Brian Berry said: “Despite toxic uncertainty, political ups and downs and bad weather in 2019, it is a testament to the resilience of the construction sector that it grew by 2.5% last year.

“However, the positive overall figure for last year shouldn’t mask the disappointing performance of the repair and maintenance sector which saw minimal growth of 0.7% and a fall of 1.7% in private housing repair and maintenance.

“A national retrofit strategy would help boost the domestic repair and maintenance sector, providing confidence and support to homeowners and builders to make the necessary upgrades to our ageing housing stock. At this same time, this would help to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.”

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