Brexit vote fails to derail Scottish construction output

Image by Marian Weyo /
Image by Marian Weyo /

THE UK’s decision to leave the European Union appears to have had no immediate effect on the performance of the Scottish construction industry, according to new figures.

Office for National Statistics data shows total output from the Scottish construction sector during the third quarter of 2016 was £3.7 billion, a slight drop on the same period in 2015 (£3.9 billion).

Output from private housing and private commercial sectors and from repair and maintenance were all up compared to the corresponding period last year, while infrastructure was down from more than £1 billion in Q3 2015 to £722 million during the three months to September this year.

Vaughan Hart, Scottish Building Federation managing director said, “These new figures suggest that the Brexit vote has had no immediate effect on the performance of the Scottish construction sector. It’s encouraging to see output from the private sector on the rise compared to the same period last year.

“We anticipated a slowdown in infrastructure activity as major projects such as the Queensferry Crossing draw to a close. More concerning is an ongoing slump in private industrial output with the removal of empty property rates relief having a negative impact on that sector of the industry.

“Future performance will depend on the wider picture for Scotland’s economy. With the Finance Secretary due to present his budget for 2017-18 next week, we will be looking for signs of a further boost to capital spending as a consequence of the commitments made by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement. That should help to keep the construction sector in reasonable health as we look ahead to 2017.”