Sharp fall in construction starts during August
Starts in the three months to August were 16% down on a year ago and 17% lower than during the previous three months, according to the latest Glenigan Index.
Residential starts dropped 27% against the preceding three months and were 22% down on a year ago, while non-residential project starts were 12% down on a year ago, led by falls in industrial, retail and in government-funded areas such as health and education.
Civil engineering starts declined by 18% against the preceding three months and were 9% down on a year ago.
The index also showed that the value of work starting on site during the three months to August was 17% down on the previous three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, and 16% lower than a year earlier.
Allan Wilén, Glenigan’seconomics director, said: “A scarcity of project starts during August has dragged the index lower. The summer lull in projects starts appears to have been exacerbated by the increased political uncertainty and the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.”
He continued: “Private housing starts dropped 28% during the three months to August against the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, and were 27% down on a year ago. In addition, a recent upturn in social housing starts has petered out with starts 25% down on the previous three months to stand 1% down on a year ago.”
Scotland and Northern Ireland were the best performing parts of the UK during the three months to August, with starts rising by 33% and 37% respectively on a year ago. The east of England also saw a 5% rise in starts. The value of underlying projects starts fell in all other parts of the UK.