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New work edges construction output upwards in Q2

Output in the construction industry grew by 0.2 per cent in Q2 2015, driven by growth in new work.

New work grew by 1 per cent in Q2 compared with the previous quarter, with private new housing (3.9 per cent), public other new work (1.2 per cent) and infrastructure (0.5 per cent) seeing the biggest jumps in output, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

The total value of housing work in Q2 2015 was the highest on record at £7.1bn, while Q2 also represents the fourth successive quarter of growth in infrastructure.

Growth in new work has been partially offset by a fall in repair and maintenance work. R&M has continued to struggle quarter on quarter, posting a 1.2 per cent fall.

The decline was sharpest in the non-housing R&M market, which dropped by 3.9 per cent over the period.

Housing R&M remained relatively strong, posting an increase of 1.5 per cent.

Overall, output in Q2 2015 was 2.4 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Month on month, construction output increased by 0.9 per cent in June 2015 compared with May 2015.

For the year, output was up 2.6 per cent in June 2015 compared with June 2014.

In June, private housing new work reached its second highest level since 2010, but public housing new work continued to fluctuate, hitting its second lowest level since September 2013.

Compared with June 2014, Infrastructure output is 21.8 per cent higher, while public housing new work has fallen by 9.8 per cent.

As part of the release, previous output has also been revised upwards.

Output in April has been revised up by 0.5 percentage points to 0 per cent, while output for May was revised up by 0.3 points to reach -1 per cent.

The ONS said these revisions were due to the incorporation of late data.

Commenting on the figures, CECA Chief Executive Alasdair Reisner said: “Today’s figures confirm a steady increase in infrastructure output.

“It is vital that Government continues to support existing investment commitments and seriously examines the case for the next generation of infrastructure investments.

“In the last Parliament we saw that the bold decisions to invest in transport projects had stimulated economic  growth across the country.

“This now builds a strong case for commitment to deliver Crossrail 2, HS3 and a wave of smaller local projects supported by extended Growth Deals. We hope that the Chancellor will use the Spending Review to support such investment.”

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