Repair work slows, causing monthly construction output to fall

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Construction output has fallen aft 5 consecutive months of growth, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal.

Following a surge successful March driven by increased repair works aft large storms, output decreased by 0.4 per cent successful April, oregon £58m. It was the archetypal monthly diminution since October past year.

Lower levels of backstage lodging repair and attraction work, and backstage commercialized caller work, were the main drivers down the slump, according to the ONS. They decreased by 6.5 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively.

Construction experts person said the monthly ONS figures item the “changeability” that remains wrong the operation industry, expressing disappointment astatine the decline.

But determination was immoderate affirmative quality arsenic output accrued 2.9 per cent successful the 3 months to April 2022 – the sixth consecutive maturation successful the three-month connected three-month series.

Overall, the level of operation output successful April was 3.3 per cent, oregon £481m, supra the February 2020 pre-COVID 19 level.

Storms successful February created a affirmative interaction for the industry, with businesses picking up repair and attraction enactment caused by damage. But the ONS said a “fallback” connected this had been suffered arsenic enactment fell 2.4 per cent.

The autumn successful backstage lodging repair and attraction work, on with backstage commercialized caller enactment represented a combined alteration of £215m for April.

Issues sourcing definite operation products besides stay a problem, according to the ONS, which reported that precocious costs for factual and timber affected smaller-sized businesses successful particular.

Despite the monthly diminution successful output, April’s operation level output was inactive 3.3 per cent, oregon £481m, supra the February 2020 pre-pandemic level.

Commenting connected today’s ONS operation output for April, Assetz Group main enforcement Stuart Law said: “This month’s operation output figures item the changeability which remains wrong the operation industry.

“Whilst galore were expecting to spot continued growth, it is disappointing to spot output decrease. Yet this reflects the macroeconomic factors that are continuing to constrain the sector.

“High ostentation continues to summation the outgo of earthy materials and energy, whilst the ongoing struggle successful Ukraine and Russian sanctions are pushing up prices further and hindering the proviso of cardinal materials. This is further aggravated by disrupted proviso chains and labour shortages.”

Since the autumn astatine the commencement of the coronavirus pandemic, betterment for the assemblage has been mixed. In April, infrastructure was 35.6 per cent (£669m) supra respective levels for February 2020, portion backstage commercialized was 27.2 per cent (£676m) below.

Beard Construction concern manager Fraser Johns said: “On the look of it, the assemblage is connected a continuing roadworthy to recovery, albeit a tentative one.

“We should not beryllium acrophobic by the tiny monthly diminution successful output volume. This is simply a re-balancing of the figures aft they were temporarily inflated successful March by a emergence successful request for repair enactment aft the wintertime storms.

“Instead, we should absorption connected the bigger-picture Q1 output, which shows a much encouraging 2.9 per cent maturation for the assemblage with April output much than 3 per cent supra pre-COVID 19 levels.

“That said, the driblet successful backstage commercialized enactment to much than 25 per cent beneath pre-COVID levels is simply a reminder that, for immoderate areas of the sector, the betterment remains fragile.

“As the twelvemonth unfolds and increasing ostentation carries connected pushing up worldly prices, continued betterment volition trust connected unfastened and honorable conversations betwixt main contractors, customers and the proviso concatenation to guarantee the outgo plans for delivering schemes are some robust and realistic for each parties.”