UK construction growth fell in Q4 2015

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Despite an increase in activity in December, the fourth quarter of 2015 saw construction growth fall…

A reduced spending on infrastructure during the fourth quarter of 2015 saw British construction output slip more than expected.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed construction output fell by 0.4 per cent during Q4 after a 1.7 per cent decline in Q3 due to a reduced spending on infrastructure. This was despite housebuilding rates increasing at the fastest pace since the start of 2014.

The drop in figures was larger than the estimate used in preliminary Q4 GDP figures. However, the ONS said it would have a negligible impact on growth rates.

During December, output rose in line with forecasts from economists, which put growth at 1.5 per cent. This followed a 1.1 per cent drop in November.

However, despite a disappointing last quarter, 2015 did see construction output grow by 3.4 per cent. This was faster than the economy as a whole, but slower than the 7.5 per cent expansion discussed in 2014. Total construction output remains 4.1 per cent below pre-recession levels seen in early 2008.

The housebuilding sector performed well, with output increasing at its fastest rate since the middle of 2014. Figures hit a 4.1 per cent growth after a 5.7 per cent decline in the previous quarter.

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