Home » Repair and maintenance work drives decline in construction output for July

Repair and maintenance work drives decline in construction output for July

Published: 14/09/2023

A reduction in repair and maintenance (R&M) work was behind an overall decrease in output in July, according to new figures published by ONS.

Cool, wet, windy weather, resulting in delays to planned work, was cited by ONS as contributing to the downturn.

In volume terms, construction output in Great Britain declined by 0.5%, driven by a contraction of R&M output of -1.3%, while all new work registered a slight increase of 0.1%.

Whereas infrastructure new work output recorded the highest monthly increase in June 2023, in July the highest growth was observed in new work output for private commercial (4.3%) and public new housing (3.2%).

On the other end of the spectrum, private housing R&M and public other new work registered the highest drops of -3.9% and -3.3% respectively.

Monthly growth in construction output by sector, July 2023

Source: ONS, Construction output in Great Britain, volume, seasonally adjusted, by sector

Total construction output in the first seven months of 2023 increased by 3.3% on the same period one year ago, with all new work output growing at 1.3% and all repair maintenance increasing by 6.4%.

Private industrial and infrastructure new work outputs recorded the highest growth (8.9% and 8.5% respectively), whereas the largest contributor to downward growth was private new housing (-5.9%).

Karl Horton, Chief Data Officer at BCIS, said: ‘The monetary strategy of raising interest rates to stem inflation has largely worked, however – unsurprisingly – it has had a direct impact on the private housing market.

‘We can see it in the number of private enterprise dwelling starts, which was down 17.5% in 1Q2023 compared to 1Q2022 in England, and in the number of completions for the UK, which is down on pre-Covid levels. The drop in demand is also reflected in the sliding house price indices.

‘There is an underlying downward trend there that looks set to continue well into 2024.’

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