Construction fails to boost GDP

Published:  29 October, 2012

LONDON: Latest data from the Office of National Statistics released yesterday shows UK GDP in the third quarter of the year up but the construction industry contracted by 2.5% over the past three months, compared to 3% the quarter before.

The new figures mean construction output was 10.8% lower this quarter, compared to a year earlier.

Jonathan Hook, construction leader at PwC, said: "The decline in construction output is disappointing but not unexpected. The industry is feeling the impact of cuts to the government's capital programme. Government has got the message about stimulating projects and the potential impact on economic growth and there are also increasingly positive signs from the private sector, but in my view it will probably be a year before the sector starts to see growth again."

The Civil Engineering Contractors Assocation's Alasdair Reisner said: "The whole of the UK has been waiting for the country to emerge from the double-dip recession. As such, todayÕs news is welcome as it indicates a return to much-needed growth.

"Yet it is clear that the construction sector has declined even further in the last quarter. Given the importance of the industry to the UK economy, delivering projects that support growth in other sectors, as well as employment for millions of UK workers, it is vital that steps are taken to rebuild UK construction.

"The plummeting output for the sector should give the government grave cause for concern. We need swift action to unlock the potential of the construction industry, so that it can play its role in the sustained recovery of the UK economy."

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