Weak first quarter offset by construction output bounce back in April


Construction output saw more growth than forecast in April, suggesting the economy might be bouncing back in the second quarter…

After a disappointing start to the year, the construction sector will undoubtedly welcome the news that output increased in April.

The first quarter of 2016 was filled with weakness and uncertainty, with economists fearing the run up to the referendum vote had put a dampener on projects.

However, industrial data has now revealed April saw output bounce back more than expected, putting the second quarter of the year on a firmer footing.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics construction output rose 2.5 per cent in April after experiencing a 3.6 per cent dip in March. This represented the largest monthly increase since January 2014. It also surpassed forecasts from economists which suggested a 1.7 per cent increase.

The figures, when compared to a year earlier, revealed construction output was down 3.7 per cent, easing from the 4.5 per cent decline in March. The three months to April saw a contraction of 2.1 per cent. This was the largest in just over three years.

During the first quarter of 2016 new orders fell some 1.2 per cent when compared to a year earlier. According to the Bank of England, weak commercial property transactions were indicative companies were holding back investment until the referendum later this month.

The housing sector also saw growth, with a 5.8 per cent increase in the private sector when compared to a year earlier. However, a steep fall in the amount of public housing being built meant the overall figures remained around the same.


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