Construction output falls three months on the trot

Repair and maintenance provided the main downward pressure on construction output, shrinking month-on-month by 1.8%.

But despite output shrinking in each of the first three months of the year, the quarter as a whole was still better than the last quarter of 2016.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, Q1 2017 was up 0.2% on Q4 2016.

According to the ONS, this healthier rolling three-month figure provides “a more comprehensive picture of the underlying trends within the construction industry”.

December 2016 was a one-off historically high month – a statistical blip – that the next three months did not keep up with.

New housing experienced strong growth in March, increasing month-on-month by 3.8%; month-on-year by 5.4%; and quarter-on-quarter by 0.2%.

And in comparison with the same period in 2016, construction output grew by 2.4% in March 2017, representing the 12th consecutive period of year-on-year growth.