UK construction sector hits summer high as record output boosts economy

The latest figures released by The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed strong performance in the UK’s construction sector, with output up by 3.3%.

Housebuilding seems to have thrived throughout the summer heatwave with the growth of construction leaping by 0.5% in July as result.

Sterling was up 0.15% on the US dollar to trade at 1.293, and rising 0.2% versus the euro to 1.118, which boosted the UK’s economic fortunes. This healthy set of figures will help put the UK on course to exceed forecasts for Q3 of 2018.

Rob Kent-Smith, head of GDP for the ONS, said: “Growth in the economy picked up in the three months to July. The dominant service sector again led economic growth in the month of July with engineers, accountants and lawyers all enjoying a busy period, backed up by growth in construction, which hit another record high level.”

Further interest rates unlikely until after Brexit

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, said: “We had expected GDP growth to be stable at 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter but the July data mean there is a very real chance it could improve to 0.5% quarter-on-quarter

“We do not expect any more rises in interest rates until after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 given the major uncertainties that may occur in the run-up to the UK’s departure.

Archer added: “We believe that the Bank of England felt a 0.3% in our GDP over a three-month period was sufficient grounds in August to raise the interest rate by quarter of a percent to 0.75%.”

As the UK government continues to put a major focus on housebuilding in order to meet the targetsset for increasing the country’s housing supply, the construction industry seems set to go from strength to strength, supported by a new recruitment drive in the sector.