Laura Sharman 09 October 2014

Public sector construction propping up output, finds report

Public sector construction propping up output, finds report image

The UK construction sector is operating at 3% below pre-recession levels and 26% below pre-crash growth trajectory, according to new analysis.

A new report from Scape, analysing ONS data, found while public sector projects have remained stable and are 9% up on pre-recession levels, helping support the whole industry. However, private sector construction is 31% below where it should be based on trend up until 2008.

The report also found that planning applications are 19% below pre-recession levels, with the cost of materials rising 18% over the same time period.

Mark Robinson, group chief executive of Scape, said: ‘Some progress has been made but the construction industry is not out of the woods yet. Looking back over 17 years it is clear to see that after a period of more or less consistent growth, the recession sent shockwaves through the industry and we have not yet recovered.

‘Even with the recent upturn, we are still significantly below where construction output should have been if the pre-recession growth had continued.’

Peter Hansford, the Government’s chief construction adviser, added that the report demonstrates the importance of the public sector development projects, especially during periods of financial uncertainty.

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