ONS reveals slight dip in construction output

Stephen Good
Stephen Good

The Scottish construction sector has no need to be concerned despite a fall in construction output, according to an industry professional.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed this morning that output in the construction industry was estimated to have decreased by 0.9 per cent in February 2015 compared the previous month. Both all new work and repair and maintenance contributed to the fall.

However, Stephen Good, chief executive of Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, remains cautiously optimistic about the figures.

He said: “While the figures released by ONS today show a slight dip in construction compared to recent months, I don’t believe that the Scottish construction industry needs to worry. There is a confidence and buoyancy within the industry which I am sure will be reflected in the statistics in the coming months.”

According to the figures, all new work decreased by 0.6 per cent, with all types of new work except public new housing and public other new work reporting decreases: infrastructure (-2.5 per cent), private new housing (-1.6 per cent), private industrial (-0.9 per cent), private commercial (-0.1 per cent).

Repair and maintenance (R&M) decreased by 1.4 per cent. All work types reported decreases: private housing (-2.7 per cent), public housing (-2.2 per cent), non-housing R&M (-0.2 per cent).

Compared with February 2014, output in the construction industry showed a decrease of 1.3 per cent. Repair and maintenance fell by 4.3 per cent while all new work increased by 0.5 per cent.

Comparing the 3 months, December 2014 to February 2015, with the previous 3 months, September to November 2014, construction output fell by 3.2 per cent. Repair and maintenance and all new work decreased by 7.7 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.

When comparing the 3 months, December 2014 to February 2015 with the same 3 months a year ago, construction output was estimated to have increased by 0.3 per cent. All new work increased by 1.3 per cent while repair and maintenance decreased by 1.4 per cent.

The only period open for revision is January 2015 which has been revised upwards 0.1 per cent, from a fall of 2.6 per cent to a fall of 2.5 per cent. This was caused by the incorporation of late data. More information on revisions can be found in the background notes.

Stephen Good added: “From a CSIC perspective, it’s now been six months since our formal launch and we have recently appointed a ten-person national and international expert advisory group to cement our collaboration with our 12 partner universities.

“This is a very exciting time for everyone involved with the CSIC, and for construction in Scotland as a whole. The appointment of this expert group is a significant step forward for us as we strive to provide Scotland’s 31,000 construction businesses with ‘ one stop shop’ access to expertise, public support and, most importantly, effect the transformational change in Scottish building practices that we need to achieve continued success in innovation, sustainability and profitability, both at home and abroad.”

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