Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive, comments on ONS Output in the Construction Industry statistics

“Today’s figures underline just how important confidence and certainty are for the industry and the wider economy. However we must not lose sight of the bigger picture. The long-term outlook for the construction sector is positive and the public sector will play a significant role in strengthening confidence in the year ahead, because the country’s housing and infrastructure challenges will require significant investment. The Government recently reaffirmed its commitment to innovation and investment in November’s Autumn Budget, including the extension of the infrastructure fund.

“While private housebuilding remains positive, the output of public housebuilding is still far too low to even come close to addressing the shortage of affordable housing. Theresa May has just named the seventh housing minister since 2010 in the midst of a nationwide housing crisis, and I urge the new Minister to look seriously at the role local councils can play in affordable housing delivery. We need a revolution in council housebuilding, and this means greater resources and powers for local councils. I hope the Minister is the right man for the job.

“The Government must also seek to create a more connected Britain, and a stronger Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine. The UK has a strong pipeline of new work, but we must ensure a joined-up approach on delivery to ensure efficiency and alleviate pressure on the availability of skills.”

  • Construction output contracted for the sixth consecutive period in the three-month on three-month time series, falling by 2% in November 2017; this represents the largest fall since August 2012.
  • There was a three month decrease in all new work, which fell by 2.1%, although private housing new work did grow by 1.2%.
  • Despite the overall three-month on three-month fall, construction output increased by 0.4% month-on-month in November 2017.