Sharp public sector falls in UK construction point to difficult 2012

Sharp public sector falls in UK construction point to difficult 2012
Published: 13 July 2012


The latest figures from the UK's Office of National Statistics released today highlight that output fell 6% in May compared to a year earlier.
 
Commenting on the figures and the bleak outlook for construction activity in 2012, Noble Francis, Economics Director at the Construction Products Association said: "Although the coalition has consistently made pronouncements of boosting UK construction and the economy, there is little sign of this in reality. Public sector housing output in May was 23% lower than a year earlier and in the three months to May was also 23% lower than a year earlier. Public non-housing output, which primarily covers education and health construction, during May was 20% lower than a year earlier and in the three months to May was 22% lower than a year earlier.
 
"Private commercial, the largest construction sector, continues to be the key bright area of construction. Commercial output in May was 2% higher than a year ago and in the first five months of the year was 1.3% higher than one year ago. However, this is not enough to offset the public sector cuts and, overall, in the first five months of the year, construction output was 5.4% lower than a year earlier so prospects for the year as a whole are bleak.’
 
"If government is serious about recovery in UK construction and the economy, it clearly needs to focus on getting a replacement for PFI sorted out immediately, getting work on the ground now by focusing on repair and maintenance and ensuring that the Green Deal becomes a success by giving householders greater incentives to invest in energy-saving improvements."