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Construction industry records 10.2% drop in output

Construction industry records 10.2% drop in output
The construction industry has experienced another setback after the latest figures showed that output dropped 10.2 per cent between November and January.

Estimates by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) noted that this level had declined 6.3 per cent during the opening month of the year and represented a 7.9 per cent drop from the same period 12 months prior. New work was also down 12.7 per cent which highlights the challenging conditions that the industry is experiencing. Officials explained that latest figures had been caused by the fall in public work and private commercial work as they both declined by 23.5 per cent and 14.5 per cent respectively.

Steve McGuckin, UK managing director of Turner & Townsend, said: "Across all construction sectors, output is down once again, with the fall in infrastructure work particularly worrying. The government’s hopes of the private sector pumping desperately needed money into infrastructure and helping the economy build its way to recovery look further away by the day."

The sector has been going through some challenging times of late which prompted the Construction Products Association to urge chancellor George Osborne to introduce measures designed to stimulate the industry. Officials at the organisation explained that construction, along with product manufacturing, has the potential to promote short-terms growth as well as boosting long-term prosperity in the UK.

Mr Osborne outlined a £4.69 billion capital spend programme for the construction sector in the 2011 Autumn Statement and also added a further £5.5 billion in December. The Construction Products Association stated that through increased investment the sector could help to pull its head above water and take on new projects.

Diana Montgomery, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, said: "For the UK economy to remain internationally competitive in attracting inward investment, it is essential that there are significant improvements in its infrastructure."

Any form of continued investment is needed to ensure that the construction sector does not continue to experience falls in output in the coming years.

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Date: 11/03/2013 16:42:20

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