Delays to new projects in response to deepening political and economic uncertainty were the main reasons cited by construction companies for the fastest drop in total construction output since April 2009. While the scale of the downturn is in no way comparable that seen during the global financial crisis, the abrupt loss of momentum in 2019 has been the worst experienced across the sector for a decade.
“Greater risk aversion has now spread to the residential building sub-sector, as concerns about the near-term demand outlook contributed to a reduction in housing activity for the first time in 17 months.
“Construction companies reported a continued brake on commercial work from clients opting to postpone spending, with decisions on new projects often pending greater clarity about the path to Brexit. Latest data meanwhile indicated another sharp fall in civil engineering, which also reflected delayed projects and longer wait times for contract awards.