The volume of infrastructure projects contributing to total UK construction output increased by 5.6% in Q1 2019, according to Gleeds’ Q2 2019 UK Economic and Regional Inflation Report.
Specialists across several of Gleeds’ regional UK hubs, including in Eastern England, Northern Ireland, the Midlands and South East England, identified infrastructure as one of the busiest sectors for construction activity in their region. A major source for the report, The Glenigan Index, noted a 35% quarter on quarter increase in infrastructure project starts in the UK throughout the reporting period.
UK construction output increased by 1.0% in Q1 2019, following a decline at the end of 2018. This was driven by a strong repair and maintenance performance, which increased by 2.9% over the quarter, rather than an increase in new work. Over the 12-month period to March 2019, construction output has increased by 3.2%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), but a longer-term measure shows a decline in growth over the past three years.
GDP increased to 0.5% in the quarter, with the services sector providing the largest positive contribution to growth, rising by 0.3% on Q4 2018. Manufacturing growth was particularly strong at 2.2%, marking the sub-sector’s strongest growth since 1988, boosted by production in pharmaceuticals, food products and basic metals. Production growth generally increased by 1.4% through Q1.
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