UK construction suffers worst quarter in four years after Brexit vote

Posted on November 11, 2016

Britain’s construction industry suffered its worst contraction in four years in the wake of the UK’s Brexit vote, according to official data.

The UK’s building industry contracted by 1.1 per cent in the three months to September, confirming a slowdown reported by companies in the sector, from Travis Perkins to Sig, in the aftermath of the June vote.

The quarterly contraction is better than the 1.4 per cent first estimate from the ONS, but still marks the worst three month performance since 2012.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed a 0.3 per cent rise in monthly output in September compared to August, better than the flat reading expected by economists, but not enough to offset a broader post-referendum slowdown.

The ONS said today’s quarterly revision would not affect the UK’s GDP figures for the period – where the economy grew a robust 0.5 per cent.

Although new construction work in the sector rose by 0.3 per cent in the three months to the end of September, output was pushed down by a 3.6 per cent contraction in repair and maintenance.

The figures are compiled through a survey of 8,000 construction firms in the UK.

They come after Britain’s industrial ouput – which accounts for around 18 per cent of GDP – also fell in the wake of the Leave vote, declining by 0.5 per cent.

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