Construction output falls but new orders increase

Construction output fell by 1.3% in June 2021, following a decline in repairs and maintenance work, according to the latest official figures.

The Office for National Statistics reported that June output was 0.3% below the February 2020 pre-coronavirus pandemic level. New work was 2.1% below the pre-pandemic level, while repair and maintenance was 3.1% above.

Despite three monthly falls in growth for the months within quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2021, quarterly growth increased by 3.3% which, apart from quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2020, was the strongest quarterly growth since quarter 3 2013 (3.6%).

Meanwhile, new construction orders also increased by 17.6% (£2bn) in the second quarter of 2021, as compared to the first quarter.

The ONS figures suggested that growth is being constrained by the availability of materials and their rising prices in the face of increased demand. The annual rate of construction output price growth was 3.4% in June 2021, making it the strongest annual rate of construction output price growth since August 2019.

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