GDP figures slam construction industry, but is it really that bad?

It seems as if it’s one step forward, two steps back for the construction industry as recent statistics show that its performance in 2011 is not as strong as first thought.

New GDP figures released by the Office of National Statistics(ONS) indicate that despite the UK economy growing by 0.5% in the first quarter of 2011, construction endured a terrible time, falling by 4.7% in the first few months of the year.

This news will come as a blow for the construction industry, as the situation has seemingly got worse for the industry after the awful winter it endured, with the freezing weather hampering the performance of the industry.

Do these figures tell the real story?

Numerous construction experts have cast doubt over the ONS’ figures. Construction Products Association’s Chief Executive Michael Ankers said:

“The scale of this fall in the official figures is extremely surprising and is not consistent with information from construction industry surveys or the experience of the companies and sectors that the association represents.”

“The indications are that the construction industry performed better in the first three months than the ONS figures suggest.”

I am surprised by the ONS’ report, as other studies analysing the performance of the construction industry found that the industry grew considerably in the first few months in 2011.

The Markit / CIPS UK Construction PMI Index has reported that the construction industry has grown over the first three months of 2011 after a poor end to last year. The report found that the figures were 53.7, 56.5 and 56.4 in January, February and March respectively (anything over 50 constitutes a growth), and the 56.5 rating for February was the highest in 8 months for the industry.

So is the industry really in such a bad state or is it on the up? Yes, the construction industry is expected to endure a tough time in 2011 and won’t start to really pick up and recover from the recession until 2013 and 2014, but there are still big projects being commissioned all over the UK and jobs available.

What do you think – do you believe the ONS’ figures or are they exaggerating the situation a bit? Let us know what you think and comment on here or on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Posted on April 28, 2011, in construction jobs, construction news, train4tradeskills and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. thanks for sharing such useful and informative information with us.

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