Official figures show possible impact of May’s election uncertainty


Official figures have shown that output in the construction industry shrunk by 1.3% in May 2015 compared to the previous month, confirming the damage likely caused by the General Election.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), decreases in all new work (down 1.5%) and repair and maintenance (1% decrease) contributed to the fall. All types of new work experienced this fall with the exception of infrastructure, with total housing reporting the largest fall of 5.8%.

Output in construction consistently fell in the months leading up to May’s General Election, with reports from across the industry suggesting that many were waiting for the outcome before proceeding with new contracts. This is reflected in the ONS’ figures, which compares the three months, March 2015 to May 2015 with the previous three of December 2014 to February 2015. This showed a drop of 0.4%, with all new work decreasing by 1.7% in this period.

However, on an annual scale, the industry has continued to recover from the recession, despite the impact of election uncertainty. Compared with May 2014, output in the construction industry showed an increase of 1.3%. All new work increased by 3.2% while repair and maintenance decreased by 1.7%.

When comparing the three months, March 2015 to May 2015 with the same three months a year ago, construction output was estimated to have increased by 2.7%. All new work increased by 4.2% and repair and maintenance by 0.3%.

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