Construction falls sharply in January
House Building 4
Construction output fell sharply in January according to the latest ONS official figures, raising wider fears about the state of the British economy.
Output in January was 6.3 percent lower than in December and 7.9 percent down on a year ago. Alan Clarke of Scotiabank said on Sky that the figures "make a triple dip in the UK increasingly likely".
The Construction Products Association said poor weather "during January undoubtedly exacerbated conditions" but warned that output is now 17 percent lower than it was just five years ago.
CPA Economics Director Noble Francis said: "Of most concern, the falls occurred across all areas of construction. The effects of public sector cuts can clearly be seen as public housing output in the three months to January was 13.5 percent lower than in the previous three months and 20.5 per cent lower than a year earlier. Private sector construction also endured sharp falls and output in commercial, the largest construction sector, fell 11.3 percent in the three months to January compared to the previous year."
"Furthermore, these latest figures clearly indicate that construction output is likely to fall in Q1, worsening conditions for the wider economy. With the Budget in less than two weeks, it is critical that the Chancellor focuses on delivery rather than announcements."