Reaction to ONS construction industry output figures for July

Reaction to ONS construction industry output figures for July

Gateley Vinden says impact of Brexit "wasn't as severe as many were warning".

The Office of National Statistics has released its construction output report for July revealing that output stabilised and appeared to be unaffected by the EU referendum.

In comparison to July last year, construction output had decreased by 1.5%, with all new work, and repair and maintenance falling by 0.6% and 3.2% respectively.

In the three months to the end of June, new construction orders were 8.6% higher than the previous quarter – the biggest increase since the second quarter of 2013.

New orders in Q2 of 2016 (April to June) increased by 8.6% in comparison with Q1 (January to March) and grew by 7.5% compared with the same period in 2015.

Private housebuilding saw a dramatic increase of 25% on the previous three months but infrastructure was hit by a decrease of 17.4%.

Peter Vinden, Managing Director of Gateley Vinden – a leading multi-disciplinary consultant company to the built environment said: “It appears pretty clear that the impact of Brexit wasn’t as severe as many were warning.

“The figures from the ONS are encouraging but we should still guard against reading too much into one month’s results. We should still expect seasonal fluctuations and given next month’s figures will include the industry’s traditionally quiet period over the summer holidays, it wouldn’t be that surprising to see a fall in growth in the next set of surveys.

“Many of the recent construction output reports are suggesting that the industry is beginning to steady following Brexit but this resilience will only take the sector so far.

“What we need now is for government to give the construction industry a clear, definitive strategy that provides some real certainty and allows for the country to get on with building the things it’s desperately crying out for – more good quality affordable housing and infrastructure.”