Construction Output In April Drops By 2 Per Cent

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Construction Output In April Drops By 2 Per Cent

Construction output dropped by 2 per cent in April following a strong increase in March, as both new work and repairs and maintenance levels fall.

According to the latest Construction output in Great Britain: April 2021 report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), construction output now stands slightly above the pre-pandemic levels from February 2020.

Construction output in April 2021 remains 0.3 per cent above the February 2020 pre-pandemic level despite the monthly fall. While new work was 3.4 per cent below the February 2020 level, repair and maintenance work remains 7.1 per cent above the February 2020 level.

In contrast, construction output grew by 5.1 per cent in the three months to April, compared to the previous quarter, due to a 5.2 per cent increase in new work and a 4.9 per cent increase in repair and maintenance.

The increase in work in Q1 2021 was due to growth in all new work sectors, but the largest contributor to this growth was in private new commercial work, which grew by 7.4 per cent. The private industrial sector was the only one that showed no growth, falling by 3.6 per cent.

The increase in repair and maintenance in the three months to April was thanks to an increase in non-housing and private housing repair and maintenance, which grew by 6.2 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively.

Clive Docwra, managing director of McBains, commented: “Output falling by 2.0 per cent in April is a cause for concern for the construction sector, but may reflect the fact that growth over March was higher than expected.

“Today’s figures also show that although confidence is returning to the construction sector, this remains delicate and growth in specific work sectors is mixed.”

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