All-time high rise in construction output, latest ONS figures show

Andy Mallice

CONSTRUCTION output has recorded an all-time high rise, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The record output high was reached in November 2018 in the chained volume measure seasonally adjusted series; the month-on-month series grew by 0.6%, resulting in a total value of construction output exceeding £14 billion for the first time since monthly records began in 2010.

This was driven primarily by growth in private new housing, private commercial new work, and public housing repair and maintenance, which saw increases of 3.1%, 2.3%, and 5.8% respectively.

The three-month on three-month series for all work saw a rise of 2.1% for November 2018; this was driven by all new work, which saw a 3.4% rise. However, this was offset slightly by a decline in all repair and maintenance, which fell by 0.4%.

The increase in the all new work three-month on three-month series was driven primarily by private new housing and infrastructure, which increased by 4.9% and 6.5% respectively.

Andy Mallice, managing director of Hart Builders, part of the Cruden Group commented on the figures, “It’s encouraging to see a rise in output activity in the sector. Certainly at Cruden we are seeing continued confidence in the housing market and have already secured a strong order book for 2019.

“Undoubtedly the impact that Brexit could have on the construction industry will be at the forefront of thoughts across the industry this year, so it’s encouraging news that the Scottish Government have set up a Holyrood committee specifically to examine the impact of Brexit on Scottish construction, together with considering how we can encourage young people to work in the industry.

“Construction lies at the heart of the Scottish economy and key to its sustained growth will be investment in future talent. Within the Cruden Group, we continue to play our part through our continuous programme of investment in our employees’ lifelong learning and training, coupled with our successful modern apprenticeship programme. This ensures that we have a solid pipeline of skilled employees to help us face any challenges and be well placed to take advantage of opportunities in the future.”