Housing construction work down 20%
The volume of new construction work in the public housing sector shrunk by a fifth in the three months to August 2012, according to new government statistics.
Data from the Office for National Statistics showed work in the sector was 20.7 per cent down compared with the same period in 2011.
Overall, construction output for the three-month period fell by 11.9 per cent, with new work 15.6 per cent down.
August’s output was 11.6 per cent down on the same month last year and 0.9 per cent down on July 2012. Among all sectors, only private industrial work showed an improvement.
The new data will feed into the government’s third quarter GDP figure, which is set to be revealed later this month.
‘The construction industry looks likely to have acted as a drag of GDP in the third quarter, though perhaps less so than in the first half of the year,’ said Chris Williamson, chief economist at financial information company Markit.
‘The ongoing downturn is being led by falling public sector spend and the housing sector, though an increase in private industrial work provided a welcome bright spot, which suggests that there is at least some upward momentum resulting from increased construction spending by companies.’