Construction output lifts by 2.4% in February: ONS 


Construction output jumped by 2.4% in February giving the sector the highest monthly cash boost, £15.6bn, since records began, says the Office for National Statistics. 

The rise was driven by private housing repair and maintenance and non-housing repairs, which lifted by 5% and 3.7%, respectively. 

It follows a 1.7% sector fall in January, with the monthly cash flowing into the industry in February the highest since the ONS began collecting this data in January 2010. 

“The increase was partially driven by a bounce back from the fall in January 2023, but also continued strength across repair and maintenance sectors,” says the ONS reporting anecdotal evidence from companies. 

It adds: “Many firms also noted an improvement of weather in February, which allowed them to get more work done.” 

Improvements in building work did not help the UK’s overall gross domestic product in February which showed no growth, as a 0.1% fall in the services sector and a 0.2% slide in production offset construction growth.  

A broader measure of the economy, saw UK GDP lift by 0.1% in the three months to February. 

Mather & Murray Financial advisor Samuel Mather-Holgate says: “With more people staying put rather than moving, we are seeing this reflected in the amount of money spent on private housing repair.  

“The headline numbers are positive, but if we drill down into what makes up the top figures, we see the reasons for the increase.  

“The government should be striving to shift the balance onto new construction projects, but we have seen from their latest Budget that they are a party out of ideas as to how to stimulate this sector.” funder Graham Cox adds: “These increased construction output figures are a symptom of high mortgage costs.  

“Instead of moving and spending thousands on stamp duty, homeowners are staying put and spending money on extending and improving their current homes. This is another sign house prices have a long way to fall yet.” 

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