The UK's construction output fell in the second quarter

Emma Haslett
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Construction disappointed in June (Source: Getty)

There was more evidence the UK's construction industry is suffering this morning, after official figures showed the sector's output fell 1.3 per cent cent in the three months to June, after a 1.1 per cent rise in the first quarter.

On a month-on-month basis, the figure contracted 0.1 per cent, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, the third month in a row the figure fell.

The news follows figures published last week which showed expansion in the sector slowing significanly in July, as a fall in commercial property output began to drag.

The fall was driven by a 1.1 per cent fall in repair and maintenance, the fourth consecutive month the figure has dropped. However, new work rose, partly thanks to a rise in new housing, with private housing rising £118m in June compared with May, although public housing fell £30m.

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"A 0.1 per cent monthly decline in construction output was well below the 1.8 per cent rise pencilled in by the ONS in its preliminary estimate of second quarter GDP," said Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club.

"But, with the quarterly change in industrial output left unrevised and construction’s modest six per cent weight in the economy, today’s numbers do not affect the estimate of 0.3 per cent growth in GDP in the second quarter.

Mark Robinson, chief executive of the Scape Group, added: “More energy also needs to be put into infrastructure projects, with the government’s cancellation of rail electrification across the North a concerning signal – at present there is little clarity or emphasis on how the government plans to upgrade infrastructure across the country beyond flagship projects like HS2 and Crossrail.

"With data showing a fall in infrastructure activity it is essential that we maintain economic growth and support local supply chains during this prolonged time of uncertainty. The government must be ambitious and take action now to speed up investment in these vital projects."

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