Private housing leads construction decline

In May 2016, output in the construction industry was estimated to have decreased by 2.1% compared with April 2016, according to ONS figures. Both all new work and repair and maintenance reported decreases, falling by 2.6% and 1.4% respectively.

Within all new work, there were decreases in all work types, except infrastructure. The main contribution to the decrease came from private new housing.

Compared with May 2015, output in the construction industry decreased by 1.9%.

The underlying pattern, as suggested by the three-month on three-month movement in output in the construction industry, decreased by 2.1%. This was the third consecutive month of three-month on three-month falls.

After figures emerged that suggest David Cameron holds the worst record on housebuilding since 1923, the Labour Party has seized the opportunity to criticise the Tories for failing to invest in the sector. “It is very concerning that construction continues to decline, which is as a result of the failed Tory plan for our economy,” said Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

“It is very concerning that construction continues to decline, which is as a result of the failed Tory plan for our economy,” she added. “At a time when our country is crying out for new infrastructure, we are seeing infrastructure output is down by more than 10% over the whole year. And with a major housing crisis, housebuilding is now seeing the biggest monthly fall across the whole sector.

“George Osborne should have been investing in the infrastructure and housing this country now urgently needs. But in the last Parliament fewer new homes were built than under any previous peacetime government since the 1920s. Instead he stuck to his failed austerity cuts to investment that Philip Hammond help draw up when they were in opposition and then supported in government.”

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