Construction output rebounds 2.4% in February

Monthly construction output is estimated to have increased 2.4% in volume terms following the 1.7% fall in January, with February ranking as the highest monthly value in level terms (£15.6bn) since records began in January 2010. 

The jump in monthly construction output was driven mainly by repair and maintenance which was up 4.5%.  New work saw more modest growth on the month of 1.1%.

Main sectors contributing to the growth were private housing repair and maintenance, and non-housing repair and maintenance, which increased 5.0% and 3.7%, respectively.  

The big monthly uptick saw the three-monthly trend figures rise 0.9%.

Clive Docwra, managing director of property and construction consultancy McBains, said: “As January saw the weakest monthly growth since June 2022, the construction industry will welcome today’s figures, with the proviso that much of the increase in output during February reflects a bounce back from the disappointing previous month. 

“The increase was also driven by repair and maintenance work rather than new orders, confirming that caution is still the watchword amongst many investors who are holding back on new projects. 

He added: “Looking further ahead, the outlook for March may be less optimistic, given that it was the wettest for 40 years which will mean site work will have been impacted. 

“Skills shortages are also still biting, and while the recent announcement by the government that bricklayers, roofers, carpenters and plasterers will be added to the Shortage Occupation List from this summer means the skills gap will be partially plugged, we would have liked to see additional professions such as electricians also added to the list.” 

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