building stock 2Output in the UK’s construction sector fell 1.3% in the three months to June, after a 1.1% rise in the first quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

The 3 month on 3 month decrease was driven by a 1.3% drop in new work and a 1.4% fall in repair and maintenance, the fourth consecutive month the figure has dropped.

Month-on-month construction output also fell in June 2017, contracting for the third consecutive month, decreasing by 0.1% compared with the previous month; however, construction output still grew 0.9% compared with June 2016.

The month-on-month decline of 0.1% in June 2017 was driven by a 1.1% fall in all repair and maintenance; however, this was offset by a 5.1% increase in private housing, which reached its highest level on record.

Two large contractors were bullish about their prospects despite the fall in output.

Kier Construction Scotland’s business development manager, Gordon Reid, said: “Although figures have dropped this month, recent reports on the bigger picture point to the industry being stronger and more resilient than ever and this is certainly what we are seeing at Kier Construction Scotland.

“Health and education are key sectors for Scotland and we have recently strengthened our portfolio in these areas.

“Our recent wins support our strategy for growth and as a result we have been able to expand headcount and continue to attract a diverse range of new talent to Kier. The construction industry remains resilient and in good health and we will continue to showcase the breadth of career opportunities and highlight the huge benefit that this important sector delivers to the Scottish economy.”

Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building & Renewals, added: “The house building sector in Scotland has endured some big challenges this year including the impact of Brexit, the rise in materials like brick and timber and the fall of Sterling.  However, the sector remains buoyant and very resilient. At Cruden, we have secured a number of significant contract wins over recent months and we continue to see high demand at our new housing developments.

“The sector is a major employer in Scotland and plays a big part in addressing youth employment. The issue of labour and resource shortages in the short to medium term needs to be addressed.  At Cruden we have met these challenges head on – setting up the Cruden Academy to deliver best practice in training and education as well as expanding our award-winning modern apprenticeship programmes to invest in our skills and our people.”