ONS Construction Statistics: Government should seize the moment
SCAPE Chief Executive, comments on today’s ONS Output in the Construction Industry monthly statistics.
Today’s data shows the public sector stepping up in 2016, as activity on non-infrastructure public sector projects increased 2.4% on the year and new public housing by a significant 13.7% on the same month a year ago.
That’s more schools, university and other public sector buildings providing a boost to a construction industry that is, at the very least, uncertain about its post-Brexit prospects.
The government should seize the moment and continue to take advantage of historically low borrowing rates to invest in public housing and our built environment. With the year ahead set to see the government fire the starting gun on EU negotiations, investing in common sense public sector projects would be a smart move given the risks of uncertainty in the wider economy.
2017 will also be the year where Mayors take charge in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and the West Midlands, and they too must be given the tools and funds to deliver the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine.
Commitments to long term infrastructure projects should also be a no-brainer for a government looking to settle an anxious economy – even Donald Trump has been able to ease some of his sceptical opponents with a long term commitments to economic growth through new infrastructure works.
- In November 2016, construction output fell by 0.2% compared with October 2016
- New public housing work increased by 13.7% annually
- New public work excluding infrastructure has increased by 2.4% annually
Mark RobinsonGroup Chief Executive
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