Michael Dall, lead economist at construction intelligence specialist Barbour ABI, has responded to the ONS Construction Output figures for August, which were released on 10 October.

“While output in the construction industry fell slightly this past month, down 3.9% in August compared with July, a lot of this is due to upward revisions in July’s data rather than major declines over the month,” he said.

“While all sectors – other than public housing – fell in August, the longer-term trends in the residential sector are still very encouraging. The other major sectors in construction, however, are not performing as well, with infrastructure and commercial continuing to record declines in growth.

“It is vital for the industry that all of these sectors grow to ensure pre-recession levels of activity are achieved sooner. Recent positive figures on new orders for commercial projects, and increasing levels of business investment in the economy, should hopefully have a positive impact in the coming months.

“For these reasons, while today’s declines are disappointing, the improving sentiment in the commercial sector in particular should start to boost output levels in the coming months.”