CIOB responds to new construction output figures - Q3, 2019
On Monday 11 November 2019 the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released the latest data on GDP for July to September 2019 suggesting that the UK economy avoided a recession.
Official figures showed that the UK economy grew by 0.3% in Quarter 3, up from a 0.2% contraction in Quarter 2. In comparison to Quarter 3 in 2018, UK GDP has grown by 1%, the slowest rate of quarter-on-year growth in 9 years.
The first half of 2019 saw increased volatility due to the original planned departure from the European Union. This saw many firms bring forward their activity in the first quarter of the year and many halting projects or production of products in Quarter 2. We also saw manufacturing sites such as car producers closing which also had an impact on GDP for the second quarter of the year.
Heading into Quarter 3, both the service and construction sectors provided positive contributions to the UK economy. Construction output in Quarter 3 rose by 0.6% following a weak Quarter 2 performance, however the growth of GDP remains subdued. Monthly estimates from July to September suggest that construction’s output remained positive due to housing, private commercial work and infrastructure projects. Often construction output is determined by a variety of external factors such as weather conditions, business uncertainty, and the pipeline of activity planned by both the public and private sector.
Caroline Gumble, Chief Executive at the CIOB, commented: “It’s good to see that there is growth in the sector, albeit at a slower rate than earlier in the year. The CIOB has recently written about what we believe the industry needs from the next government. In order to maintain stability within the sector we want to see leadership and commitment at a Ministerial level, support for the industrial strategy and further investment in the regions. Securing a pipeline of well-planned projects and supporting jobs across the UK should be a priority for the next government, and based on today’s figures, pursuing these strategies will lead to all around improved economic performance.”