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Experts split over post Brexit fate of UK construction

15 August 2016

Construction output in the UK construction industry declined again in June, sparking fears that there could be worse to come in the wake of the EU referendum vote. Some analysts, however, have maintained that the recession in the industry could not be blamed wholly on uncertainty in the lead-up to the 23 June referendum and that much of the latest downturn was due to seasonal and global factors. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed construction output fell by 0.9 per cent in June after a 2.1 per cent decline in May. Output was 1.4 per cent lower in the second quarter than in the same period in 2015. The ONS data on Friday followed the previous week’s Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index for the construction industry, which suggested the sector had experienced its sharpest fall in July fall since the one in June 2009. Shraga Stern, director of London-based construction firm Decorean, felt the ONS figures were not a cause for alarm. “Historically, the broader industry experiences a dip in the summer months anyway, so we do not necessarily believe this has been caused by Brexit,” he said. “In our day-to-day operations as a house-builder, we have still seen an appetite and believe that other markets within construction will recover very soon. As is the case with any slowdown or dip in a market, patience is key. We firmly expect the entire market to recover as the year progresses.” Source

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