January construction output down 8% on last year

Overall, construction output in January was 6.3% less than in December and seven.9% less than in January 2012.

Over the 3 months ending 31 January 2013, output was down 11.0% at the previous quarter and down 10.2% year-on-year.

The biggest falls within the November to January period were in new public sector work which fell by 23.5% and new public housing work which fell by 20.4%.

Noble Francis, economics director of the development Products Association, said: “Although poor weather during January undoubtedly exacerbated conditions, the development output figures illustrate the present state of the industry, where output is now 17% below it was just five years ago.”

He added: “Of most concern, the falls occurred across all areas of construction. The results of public sector cuts can clearly be seen as public housing output within the three months to January was 13.5% under within the previous three months and 20.5% less than a year earlier. Private sector construction also endured sharp falls and output in commercial, the biggest construction sector, fell 11.3% within the three months to January in comparison with the former year.

“Government has made loads of announcements during the last two years including £5.5bn capital investment inside the autumn statement 2012 as well as £4.69bn capital investment and £20bn private finance investment for infrastructure within the autumn statement 2011. However, infrastructure output inside the three months to January was 9% under a year earlier. With the budget in lower than two weeks, that is critical that the chancellor makes a speciality of delivery in preference to announcements. If this capital investment occurred then it will provide a further 0.8% GDP growth for the united kingdom economy.”

Meanwhile data in Scotland showed that the Scottish construction industry declined by 10% last year, reducing its value to the Scottish economy by greater than £1.1bn.