Construction output falls in August
Construction output figures for August fell 4.3 per cent against the previous month and marked the biggest year on year decline since May 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The slide in the monthly output data was driven by a sharp drop in refurbishment and maintenance work. Compared with August 2014, total construction output dropped 1.3 per cent, but new work was actually up 3.1 per cent.
More reliable three-month data showed new work increased by 0.7 per cent from June – August 2015, compared with the previous three months, while repair and maintenance saw a 3.6 per cent decrease.
The picture is better comparing the output data for three months to last year when with all new work up by 5.6 per cent, but repair and maintenance down by 4.6 per cent.
Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building & Renewals, remained cautiously optimistic.
He said: “These latest ONS figures illustrate the mercurial nature of the industry in Scotland of late, a point not lost on operators north of the border.
“However, confidence remains in the sector. Our own development activity, particularly within the west coast at our King’s View site in Glasgow, has continued to go from strength to strength.
“We also expect for all operators to begin to see more projects come to fruition towards the end of the year to meet the needs of the Scottish housing market, a point which will help to stimulate growth and job creation.
“It is for this reason that we remain positive, as do thousands of others operating within a sector; a sector which has been battered and beaten by economic challenges, but one which is resilient enough to consistently face them head on.”