Private housing fuels construction growth

The construction industry is generally improving, according to the Office of National Statistics.

Private housing fuels construction growth

The ONS figures show that, overall, construction output in August was 4.0 per cent higher than it was a year ago.

Construction Products Association economics director, Noble Francis said: “These figures add further confidence to our view that the industry is gradually exiting from one of the worst downturns in its history. Private housing is clearly leading the activity, showing a significant year-on-year rise of 18.0 per cent.

“Even excluding private housing, the overall industry was up 1.7 per cent from this time a year ago. Other areas of strength included the largest sector – commercial offices and retail – which rose 8.4 per cent year-on-year, and the repair and maintenance sectors for both non-housing and private housing, which saw year-on-year growth of 4.1 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively”.

He points out, however, that the infrastructure sector “remains a major concern”, with year on year output falling 5.5 per cent.

“The Association forecasts construction output growth of 2.2% in 2014 and 4.5% in 2015. The recovery will be led primarily by private housing in the short-term, but will only be sustained in the long-term with broader growth from other sectors and most notably the vital infrastructure sector, where government announcements will need to translate into real activity on the ground.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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