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Construction output rises 0.6% for Q1 2014

Construction output rose 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 compared with Q4 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Preliminary estimates for GDP in Q1 2014 showed output to have grown by 0.3 per cent compared with Q4 2013.

Output increased in both new work, which rose by 0.9 per cent, and in repair and maintenance, which increased by 0.2 per cent.

When comparing Q1 2014 with the same period in 2013, construction output increased by 5.4 per cent, or £1.5bn.

Of this, £1bn was attributable to new work, with the remaining £500m to repair and maintenance.

The ONS said new private housing rose by 23 per cent on the year and had driven the recent recovery in total construction.

It added that by removing new housing from the Q1 2014 estimates, construction output would have fallen 2.2 per cent when compared with Q4 2013.

Infrastructure work fell 4.8 per cent and the industrial sector fell 10.6 per cent for the period, with commercial rising 1.3 per cent, compared with Q1 2013.

Turner & Townsend UK managing director of the global construction consultancy Steve McGuckin said growth was “no longer just confined to the white hot residential sector”.

He added: “While housebuilders led the charge last year, commercial property work has lagged badly in many parts of the country.

“But now industrial sector building is turning the corner too. Its output in the first quarter was 10 per cent down on the same time last year, but it clocked up an impressive 6.5 per cent month-on-month growth rate in March.”

The construction industry is now said to account for 6.3 per cent of total GDP.

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