Construction down by 3.4%

Construction output fell by 3.4% in January 2018, the largest fall since June 2012, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The decrease stemmed from a fall in all new work, which fell from a record high in December 2017, decreasing by 4.8%. Elsewhere, repair and maintenance also fell in January 2018, albeit to a lesser extent than all new work, decreasing by 0.7% compared with the previous month.

The main contribution to the fall in all work came from private housing, which fell from a record high in December 2017, decreasing by £239 million.

Elsewhere, private commercial and public other new work provided a further downward drag on output, decreasing by £91 million and £75 million respectively.

The only notable positive contribution to growth came from the private industrial sector, which recovered from two consecutive months of decline, increasing by £57 million.

Rebecca Larkin, senior economist at the Construction Products Association, said: “After three quarters of decline last year, it appears that 2018 is unlikely to herald a resurgence in industry growth. The fall in activity in January is likely to have been worsened by any pause on projects due to the liquidation of Carillion in the middle of the month. The snow disruption in February and March adds to the downside forces on construction during the opening quarter of the new year.”