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Construction recovery ahead

The construction industry is set to enjoy a sustained recovery over the next two years, according to the latest data released from the Office for National Statistics.
The latest ONS figures highlight a dramatic increase in construction new orders during the second quarter of 2013. Overall, new orders in the four quarters to Q2 were 12 per cent higher than a year earlier, worth £5 billion, with double-digit growth in almost every sector.

Dr Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association said: “Although construction output grew in the second quarter of 2013, this was purely driven by housing, which in turn has been boosted considerably by Help to Buy. However, the latest figures on new orders show that the £111 billion construction industry is ready to enjoy a sustained recovery over the next two years.”

Infrastructure new orders in the four quarters to Q2 were 19.8 per cent higher than a year earlier and new orders for public non-housing, which primarily covers schools and hospitals, grew 12.6 per cent over the same period.

“New orders in private commercial, the largest construction sector worth £21 billion each year, fell 4.9 per cent in the four quarters to Q2,” said Francis. “However, new orders in the second quarter were higher than in the previous quarter and appear to have passed the nadir, suggesting growth in private commercial medium-term.

“Overall, there are strong positive signs of a sustained recovery in construction output, not just in housing but also in private and public construction sectors. Our forecasts anticipate that construction output will grow 12.2 per cent by 2016 as these new orders feed through into activity on the ground, providing an additional £11.8 billion for the industry and the wider economy.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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