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Latest construction output figures

Published: 21/11/2023

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes monthly estimates of the amount of construction output chargeable to customers for building and civil engineering work in Great Britain, split by sector and type of work.

Repair and maintenance drove overall output growth in 3Q2023 

Construction output remained relatively flat in 3Q2023, increasing by just 0.1% on 2Q2023, and by 2.5% compared with 3Q2022. It was the eighth quarter of consecutive growth, with a 0.7% increase in repair and maintenance and 0.3% decline in new work.  

The slight overall increase was driven by output in the third month of the quarter after July and August saw falls. New work output was down 0.8% in September but, with an increase in repair and maintenance (R&M) output of 2.1%, overall output for the month was up by 0.4%. 


% change 3Q2023 on 



New housing public  -0.1%  5.1% 
New housing private  -2.8%  -13.4% 
Infrastructure  0.8%  11.3% 
Public non housing  -1.3%  13.7% 
Private industrial  -6.5%  -8.9% 
Private commercial  5.0%  3.9% 
All new work  -0.3%  -0.9% 
All R&M  0.7%  7.8% 
All work  0.1%  2.5% 

Source: ONS – Construction output in Great Britain, volume, seasonally adjusted, by sector 

The strongest growth in the third quarter, compared to the second quarter, was in private commercial work, with a 5.0% increase in output while, on an annual basis, public non housing and infrastructure had double-digit growth of 13.7% and 11.3% respectively. The beleaguered private housing sector saw a 13.4% decrease in output compared with a year earlier (3Q2022). 

In both the quarterly and annual figures, R&M output growth contributed to increases in total output, despite new work output declining. 

Dr David Crosthwaite, Chief Economist at BCIS, said: ‘With R&M buoying overall output, we can see new work is still flagging, particularly in private housing, which is no surprise in the current climate. The output figures are actually more encouraging than new orders, which show decreases in planned work almost across the board. 

‘In the second quarter of this year, we saw an exceptionally high number of housing starts, attributed to housebuilders commencing work in time to beat the end of the grace period on changes to building regulations. But, in general, we know that house builders have reported they simply won’t build as many houses this year. 

‘On top of the reduction in demand in a slow-moving market, the proposed overhaul of nutrient neutrality regulations, which the House Builders Federation says is holding up 150,000 homes, seems to have been quietly dropped by the government after being blocked in the House of Lords.

‘While private industrial output was down for the quarter as well, the other sectors have held up better than we were probably expecting at this point in the year, which is a good sign for the industry. 

‘It’s easy to be distracted by headlines around things like HS2, but the output figures, especially for infrastructure and public non housing, show there has been and continues to be a strong pipeline of work.’ 

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