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ONS construction output records first year-on-year fall since May 2013

Construction output dipped by 0.7 per cent in July 2015 compared with July 2014 – the first year-on-year fall recorded for more than two years.

July’s decline breaks the cycle of year-on-year growth recorded since May 2013.

Month on month, output fell 1 per cent in July, driven largely by falling activity in public housing and public new work, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Public new housing declined 5.8 per cent, while private new housing fell 2 per cent compared with a month earlier.

Elsewhere, public new work was down 4.5 per cent month on month, while private commercial work declined 2.9 per cent over the same period.

July’s figures also represent the lowest levels of housing new work output seen since June 2014.

Private industrial new work continued to perform strongly, posting an upturn of 6.6 per cent compared with June.

Alongside infrastructure, which grew 2.7 per cent, it was the only sector not to post a month-on-month decline in new work.

Within the repair and maintenance category, non-housing work grew 1.4 per cent, but this was offset by a dip of 1.4 per cent in housing R&M.

Looking at the quarterly figures, construction new orders fell 0.4 per cent in Q2 2015 compared with Q1.

However, new orders were still up year on year, rising 1.9 per cent compared with Q2 2014.

The quarter-on-quarter fall in new orders was driven by a significant dip in private commercial work, where orders fell 12 per cent, while public other new work was down 10.7 per cent.

Elsewhere, new orders for private housing fell by 3.3 per cent over the same period.

More postively, infrastructure new orders were up 23.8 per cent over the period, while public new housing orders rose 7.6 per cent.

Private industrial also continued its strong growth, posting an upturn of 5.3 per cent quarter on quarter. This represented the highest level of new orders in this sector since Q1 2008.

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