Sharp rise in Scotland’s construction output

Sharp rise in Scotland’s construction output
Published: 10 September 2010

There was a sharp rise in Scottish construction output in the second quarter of this year, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics said output in Scotland jumped by 17%, or UK£401m, compared to the first quarter.

The Scottish Building Federation (SBF) responded cautiously to the figures.

SBF chief executive Michael Levack said there was no cause for complacency as underlying trends were of "serious concern".

He said: "Output may be up but these latest figures should in no way be interpreted as signs of a sustainable recovery in the Scottish building industry."

Mr Levack said private commercial activity was down by 46% compared to its peak several years ago, while quarterly private housebuilding activity was 40% lower than at the peak of the housing boom.

He added: "Public sector construction activity was up again this quarter but, with significant budget cuts starting to bite, this trend will not last.

"Over the coming months, we need to maintain our focus on sustaining capital investment budgets and retaining industry skills and capacity - or risk seriously hampering Scotland’s prospects for sustainable economic growth."

Figures released last month showed the supply of new houses in Scotland dropped as the economic crisis hit the construction sector.

The number of new-builds, refurbishments and conversions fell from 22,368 to 18,836 between 2008-09 and 2009-10, according to government-published figures.