The latest figures in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Output in the Construction Industry shows that the sector grew by an overall 7.4 per cent in 2014. The figures from Q4 2014 were also 4.8 per cent higher than in the same period of 2013, making it the sixth consecutive period of annual quarter-on-quarter growth.
In 2014 output reached £121.3 billion. Almost all construction work reported growth, with the exception of infrastructure, public other new work and private commercial work. Total new housing saw the largest increase, growing by 23 per cent in 2014.
However, Q4 saw a 2.1 per cent reduction in output in comparison with the previous quarter. The downward turn was mainly to do a fall of 6.3 per cent in the repair and maintenance sector. This marked the highest quarterly fall since dropping 8.7 per cent in Q4 2009. Housing and non-housing repair and maintenance fell by 4.9 per cent and 7.7 per cent respectively.
The figures showed that new work output continued on its steady climb, increasing by 0.6 per cent in Q4 of last year. December was seen as the most productive period, growing 0.4 per cent on the previous month. This came despite falls in October and November, and it helped mark the 19th consecutive period of year-on-year monthly growth.
Chris Temple, engineering and construction leader at PwC, commented on the figures. He said: "While Q4 2014 output decreased compared with the previous quarter, the construction sector continues to show healthy year-on-year growth and our clients are optimistic about the year ahead, with most expecting growth in 2015 in excess of three per cent."
He added that the sector is still a great opportunity for job hunters, with the skills shortage making labourers in high demand.