ONS figures published recently show that construction output in November rose by 0.4% in both monthly and annual terms. However, monthly data are volatile and on a rolling three-month basis, output declined 2.0%. This was the largest fall since August 2012.
Rebecca Larkin, senior economist at the Construction Products Association, commented: “Today’s data confirm what has been signalled by early indicators and industry surveys – that construction ended 2017 on a weak note. Past falls in new orders, particularly in the commercial and public non-housing sectors, now appear to filtering through into lower volumes of work. On a three-month basis, commercial output fell 5.4%.
“It now looks impossible that the industry avoided a full quarter of contraction in Q4, with the £30 billion private housing sector contributing the only positive story. Therefore, construction is set to have caused a drag on overall UK economic growth during the quarter.