NEW figures released by the ONS have revealed that monthly output in the UK construction sector is at its highest level since September 2019.
Output rose by 1.1% in volume terms in January, following an increase of 2% in December. The rise was driven by a 4.6% increase in repair and maintenance as new work actually experienced a slight decrease of 0.8%.
The main contributors to growth were private housing repair and maintenance and non-housing repair and maintenance, which grew by 5% and 5.5%, respectively.
The level of construction output in January was 1.4% above the February 2020 pre-pandemic figure.
Alongside the monthly increase, construction output rose 3% in the three months to January 2022 – the the strongest growth in the three-month on three-month series since June 2021.
Mark Markey, MD of Glasgow-headquartered Akela Group, described the figures as ‘good news for everyone working in the industry’ and reflective of what the firm is experiencing.
“PMI data released last month also echoed this confidence, highlighting that housebuilding has become the best performing construction work category and the latest increase in residential work was the strongest for eight months,” he added. “This chimes with the continued demand for our ground engineering and civil engineering services which has seen us win contracts across Scotland with major housebuilders to deliver more than 2100 units.
“We are also seeing demand for services in other sectors including retail and energy, specifically electric vehicle charging stations. Our new hub in Leeds will support this growing demand across the north of England. Of course, there remains industry-wide challenges such as widespread material and labour shortages, coupled with rising costs. Our hope for the coming months is that this demand for house building and civil engineering continues and leads to even stronger client confidence.”