ONS: Construction sector output shows continued recovery

Construction output across the UK continued to recover following a relatively weak start to the year, with the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing an increase of 2.9% in the three months to August 2018.

According to ONS Construction Output data released this morning the three-month on three-month growth was driven by both repair and maintenance and all new work which increased by 2.8% and 2.9% respectively.

However construction output declined by 0.7% between July and August 2018, due in part to falls in both repair and maintenance and all new work which decreased by 0.6% and 0.8% respectively.

The figures were cautiously welcomed by firms in the Scottish construction industry.

Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building, said: “Resilience in the sector and the strength of operators north of the border have played a part in achieving these positive ONS figures. Of course, continued uncertainty over Brexit negotiations and a rise in material costs has had the potential to knock current activity off course.

“Yet despite these challenges, our order book has continued to grow, supported by our bespoke and flexible offering and investment in staff and training, which allow us to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

“I’ve no doubt the construction sector will continue to weather the storm and Cruden in particular will continue our steady and sustainable growth over the coming months and into 2019.”

Kier Construction Scotland’s regional business development manager, Gordon Reid, added: “These positive figures echo Kier Construction Scotland’s performance, where our robust set of financial results show that we are expanding our order book and providing diverse and local employment and training opportunities throughout Scotland.

“We have recently been appointed to the ten-year £750m Clyde Commercial Framework, strengthened our education and healthcare portfolios with a number of key wins and are about to begin work at the well-known Burrell Museum and Citizens Theatre.

“While these exciting projects bring the chance to attract new talent, we can’t forget that the sector is in the midst of a skills shortage. Kier has successfully launched a campaign called Shaping Your World with 1% of our workforce engaging with schools and colleges to highlight the vast career opportunities in the construction industry. This year alone, we have invested 500 hours interacting with nearly 6,000 Scottish school pupils.”

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