Construction figures better than thought

Revisions to construction output figures have shown that the sector grew more than originally thought in the final three months of 2012.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

The Office for National Statistics today revealed that construction output rose by 0.9% in the last quarter, six basis points higher than the 0.3% originally calculated.

The revision is good news for the wider economy, because construction output data is one of the measures used to work out total GDP figures. A rise in construction will mean that the 0.3% economic contraction recorded in Q4 last year may now just scrape into growth, or at least it won’t have shrunk as much as we feared.

And if you want to feel even better about the revised figures, you’ll be pleased to know that this marks the first time the sector has grown since the second quarter of 2011. 

The ONS says that most of the rise was fuelled by growth in private housing and infrastructure, but this was partly countered by further falls in the amount of public sector housing construction and private housing repair and maintenance.

Let’s hope the revised GDP figures (which will probably come out in a few weeks) show that the economy did not contract after all…

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