GDP figures, published by ONS, highlight that the UK economy grew by 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013; however, construction declined 0.3 per cent over the same period.
Commenting on these figures, Construction Products Association economics director Noble Francis said: “The 0.3 per cent decrease in the preliminary estimate for construction in 2013 Q4 was disappointing but followed an increase of 2.6 per cent in the previous quarter. Furthermore, between 2012 Q4 and 2013 Q4, construction output increased by 4.5 per cent.
“This GDP estimate shows that the construction industry’s recovery is still in early days. Of the four main sectors, construction output was the only one to register a negative result. However, this was a marginal fall in the preliminary figures within a general upward trend, and our latest Forecasts anticipate a 3.4 per cent rise in construction output for 2014.”
UCATT general secretary Steve Murphy said: “The fall in construction output is a direct result of Government policies. Their huge cuts in infrastructure spending have totally undermined investment and confidence in the construction industry, especially outside London, where levels of work are not increasing.”
Mr Murphy added: “The construction industry needs an urgent plan B, it is an industry which is labour intensive, and investment directly results in increased employment. If the Government invested in infrastructure and social housing projects, skilled workers would find employment and the overall strength of the economy would be dramatically improved.”