EU referendum uncertainty blamed for weakened construction industry figures for February

William Turvill
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Output during February dropped by an estimated 0.3 per cent on January (Source: Getty)

The UK construction industry is the latest victim of the EU referendum.

That's according to IHS Global Insight, which has linked Brexit uncertainty to weakened figures for the industry in February.

Output during the month dropped by an estimated 0.3 per cent compared with January, which itself was down 0.4 per cent on December.

Read more: Construction slowdown on the cards as PMI slips to three-year low

But output in February was up 0.3 per cent year on year. And construction output between December and February was up 1.5 per cent compared with the previous three-month period.

“The construction sector is seemingly currently being affected by increased caution among clients (especially for major projects) amid heightened UK and global economic uncertainties,” said Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS.

“The looming 23 June referendum on UK membership of the EU adds to the uncertainties dogging the construction sector – especially given the tightness of opinion polls.”

Read more: Former chancellor sets out why EU membership is darling to him

The Construction Products Association, meanwhile, predicts "modest though consistent growth and optimism for the coming year".

But a spokesman added: "The chief risk to this outlook is the uncertainty already evident in the run-up to the EU Referendum vote in June."

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