Private sector keeps Scottish construction buoyant after Brexit

“Future performance will depend on the wider picture for Scotland’s economy…”

Output from the Scottish construction sector has remained buoyant during the three months immediately following the UK referendum vote, 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.
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.”
New output figures for the UK construction sector, including updated figures for the Scottish industry for the third quarter of 2016 were published on Friday (9 December) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Figures for the Scottish industry for the 12 months to September 2016 and the corresponding figures for the preceding year are set out in the table below:
All New Work
Repair and Maintenance
All Repair and Maintenance
All Work
PERIOD
Public
Private
Infras-tructure
Excluding Infrastructure
Housing
Other Work
Infras-tructure
Public
Private Industrial
Private Commercial
Public
Private
2014-15
Q4
135
396
532
794
359
134
567
2,386
376
77
201
207
861
3,241
Q1
139
367
506
1,001
322
104
541
2,475
379
73
193
218
863
3,338
Q2
165
436
601
1,128
373
79
606
2,787
446
71
210
206
933
3,720
Q3
157
410
567
1,078
437
70
654
2,806
470
94
245
254
1063
3,869
Annual total
596
1,609
2,205
4,001
1,492
387
2,368
10,453
1671
315
849
885
3720
14,167
2015-16
Q4
171
434
606
977
408
54
648
2,693
484
81
258
251
1074
3,767
Q1
164
431
595
847
390
48
595
2,475
460
82
245
262
1049
3,524
Q2
169
519
688
772
456
60
616
2,592
468
85
249
264
1066
3,658
Q3
159
515
674
722
511
64
691
2,662
455 86 213 271 1025 3,687
Annual total
663.86
1899.57
2563.43
3319.01
1764.23
226.38
2549.78
10422.83
1867.00
334.00
965.00
1048.00
4214.00
14636.83