Output from the Scottish construction sector seems to have remained buoyant during the three months immediately following the UK referendum vote to leave the European Union, new official figures suggest.
Total output from the Scottish construction sector during the third quarter of 2016 was £3.7 billion, down marginally on the same period in 2015, when total industry output was worth £3.9 billion. However, output from the private housing and private commercial sectors and from repair and maintenance were all up compared to the third quarter of 2015, helping to offset a decline in infrastructure output, down from more than £1 billion in Q3 2015 to £722 million during the three months to September this year.
Commenting on the new figures, Scottish Building Federation Managing Director Vaughan Hart said:
“These new figures suggest that the Brexit vote has had no immediate effect on the performance of the Scottish construction sector. It’s encouraging to see output from the private sector on the rise compared to the same period last year. We anticipated a slowdown in infrastructure activity as major projects such as the Queensferry Crossing draw to a close. More concerning is an ongoing slump in private industrial output with the removal of empty property rates relief having a negative impact on that sector of the industry. Future performance will depend on the wider picture for Scotland’s economy. With the Finance Secretary due to present his budget for 2017-18 next week, we will be looking for signs of a further boost to capital spending as a consequence of the commitments made by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement. That should help to keep the construction sector in reasonable health as we look ahead to 2017.”
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Notes to Editors
1. New output figures for the UK construction sector, including updated figures for the Scottish industry for the third quarter of 2016 were published today (9th December 2016) by the Office for National Statistics).
2. Founded in 1895, the Scottish Building Federation (SBF) is the lead voice of the construction industry in Scotland, an industry which is the largest source of private investment north of the border and contributes around £10 billion (c.10%) to Scotland’s GDP. The overall aim of the organisation is to ensure that the important contribution of the Scottish construction industry to Scotland’s economy and society is recognised and valued, which it does through working with industry, government and the media, and that industry standards are raised.
3. The SBF promotes the interests of the construction industry to a diverse range of stakeholders and is the leading employers’ federation for the industry, representing hundreds of individual companies from Orkney to the Borders.
4. The SBF provides an exclusive range of invaluable support services to a wide range of member companies, whether these are small single trade firms or major regional and national contractors. The shared objective that all members have in common is their commitment to health and safety, skills and integrity, ensuring the delivery of the highest standards of performance, professionalism and quality within the industry in Scotland.