UK construction output sees first annual drop in August since May 2013 - UPDATE

Philip Waller Sharecast | 10 Oct, 2014 09:46 - Updated: 09:50 | | |

UK construction output tumbled in August against July, further stoking fears that the economic recovery is losing steam, official figures showed on Friday.

In August, output in the construction industry was estimated to have fallen by 3.9% compared with July 2014, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Against August last year, output fell 0.3%, representing the first drop since May 2013 when it declined 1.7%.

However, the ONS cautioned that a revision to July 2014 from 0% to 1.9% had affected the month-on-month growth contraction.

Economist Chris Williamson at data group Markit voiced scepticism about the data, saying the construction industry was doing better than the official figures suggested.

“We suspect, however, that this is a wholly inaccurate representation of the sector’s health, and that construction in fact continues to boom," he said.

“We question the value of the official construction data due to the scale of revisions that occur after data are first released.

“Buoyant survey data suggest that even the upwardly revised official data for prior months have understated the true pace of expansion so far this year, and indicate that growth accelerated further in the third quarter.

“We expect GDP to have risen 0.8%, given the data currently available for the period, though we ignore the latest figure for construction from the ONS in this estimate, as the chances are it will be revised to show a completely different trend next month.”

More news

11:34 Wednesday broker round-up

Petrofac: Morgan Stanley upgrades to Equal Weight with a target price of 475p.

11:33 WPP still working to restore services after 'Petya' ransomware attack

Advertising giant WPP said on Wednesday that a number of its companies - not all - were affected by the 'Petya' ransomware attack that has hit organisations around the world.

11:12 It's not the right time to raise interest rates, BoE's Cunliffe says

It's not the tight time for a hike in Bank Rate, the Deputy Governor for Financial Stability said.

10:59 French consumer confidence soars after elections

French consumer spirits were buoyed following the elections, a possible indication that the French had bought into new president Emmanuele Macron's promises of deep reforms to reinvigorate the economy, the results of an official survey revealed.

10:58 FCA clamps down on asset managers

The Financial Conduct Authority has called for asset managers to overhaul their charging structures and prices following a near two-year consultation on the £7trn industry.

10:30 Investors in 7digital to hear more about 24-7 acquisition

Business-to-business digital music solutions provider 7digital was holding its annual general meeting on Wednesday, with shareholders set to hear more about the benefits of the company’s recent acquisition of 24-7 Entertainment from MediaMarktSaturn.

10:28 William Hill rallies as Stifel highlights New Jersey sports betting news

William Hill racked up healthy gains on Wednesday as Stifel said the US Supreme Court's decision to hear the bid by New Jersey to legalise sports betting in that state should be seen a small positive.

10:12 Work Group posts negligible numbers as it seeks reverse takeover opportunity

Work Group released its final results for the year to 31 December 2016 on Wednesday, with revenue coming in at £0.008m alongside gross profit of £0.003m, compared to figures of £7.1m and £4.5m for the 2015 year, as a result of the sale of its operations at the end of 2015.

09:21 United Utilities appoints Steve Fraser as COO

United Utilities has appointed Steve Fraser as chief operating officer with effect from 1 August.

09:19 Euro headed back to 1.30?

The European single currency pierced a key level of technical resistance and past a certain point further gains might trigger another large move higher, according to technical analysts.