UK: calls for public sector construction kick-start

UK: calls for public sector construction kick-start
Published: 12 March 2012


The latest UK construction figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), released on Friday, show that domestic output continued to fall in January as concerns mount over declines in private sector activity.

January 2012 figures fell 12 per cent compared to December 2011 while for the   three month period ending January 2012, output was down 11 per cent compared to the previous three months.

Commenting on the figures, Noble Francis, Economics Director at the Construction Products Association said: “Overall, we are not particularly surprised that construction output has continued to decline, due to the effect of the public sector cuts. However, what is extremely disconcerting is that while public sector construction activity has fallen 12 per cent in the three months to January compared to the previous three months, private sector construction has fared almost as badly, falling 10 per cent over the same period.

“The government has made much play on private sector construction leading the recovery, as the public sector cuts begin to bite. Unfortunately from the ONS data out today, this recovery is just not happening and even commercial activity, usually the largest private construction sector is showing a fall of 11 per cent.

“With this evidence, it is imperative that the Chancellor uses his budget speech later this month to provide an urgent boost to kick start construction activity, so as to get the economic recovery back on track.”