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Output falls for third consecutive quarter

Construction output fell by 1.7 per cent in the three months to May 2018 for the third consecutive three-month period.

The decline was driven by a fall in new work, which also declined for the third consecutive three-month period, falling 2.5 per cent in the period to May.

However, the Office for National Statistics figures showed a 2.9 per cent month-on-month increase in output in May compared with April.

This monthly increase was attributed to growth across all types of work, with total housing repair and maintenance leading the way with a £125m increase.

Michael Thirkettle, chief executive of industry consultant McBains, said the figures showed the industry was “in the deep waters of recession” and suggested Brexit was partly to blame for the decline over the three-month period.

“UK and international companies and investors that are looking to invest in the UK are still struggling to get a read on the post-Brexit destination, meaning a reluctance to commit to new projects,” Mr Thirkettle said.

A combination of material price increases and rising wages among skilled tradespeople was “squeezing margins substantially”, Mr Thirkettle added.


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