The latest Office of National Statistics have revealed that construction output increased by 1.0% in the first quarter of 2019 (Jan to Mar). This increase was driven by repair and maintenance output, which increased by 2.9%. However, private commercial work continued its decline, falling 4.7% during the Quarter.

The rise in repair and maintenance output in Quarter 1 2019 was driven by increases in both private housing repair and maintenance and non-housing repair and maintenance, which increased by 4.0% and 3.5% respectively.

New work experienced no growth (0.0%) across Quarter 1 2019, as increases in infrastructure and public other new work of 5.6% and 3.3% respectively were offset by decreases in private commercial and housing new work of 4.7% and 1.2% respectively.

Construction output decreased by 1.9% in the month-on-month all work series in March 2019; driven by falls in both new work and repair and maintenance, which fell by 1.8% and 2.2% respectively.

Clive Docwra, Managing Director of leading construction consulting and design agency McBains, said:  “Today’s figures mark another increase in output, coming after last month’s statistics showed unexpected moderate growth during February.

“However, this was driven by repair and maintenance – there was no growth in new work across the first quarter of the year, including a decrease in private commercial and housing work.

“This reflects that many investors are still deferring decisions on projects until Brexit is resolved – and we’re perhaps further away than ever on certainty and finality in that regard.”