Oh God, I don’t know how much more of this I can take before I just find some humane way of topping myself
Today’s construction industry output data provides more evidence that the recovery has been draining away for a while now. Output in August was down 0.4% from July and 4.1% from August 2010. If you look at the more consistent figures for three month periods, the decline in total output in June – August 2011 from the same period in 2010 is lower, at 1.9%. But a breakdown into different categories is quite revealing:
What I find particularly worrying is that fall of nearly a quarter in new private industrial construction. That’s partly because the 2010 figure was highish, as everyone thought we were warming up the recovery and partly because the 2011 figure reflects the fears that we are tumbling into another recession.
That 1.9% fall in total construction output comes after 5 months in which the increase was less than it had been in the previous month:
(I’ve compared the three months ending with the month on the Y-axis with the same period in 2010.)
These figures reinforce the message of the Purchasing Managers’ Index for construction earlier this month, which was
Growth of UK construction activity slows to near-stagnation
Markit reported that new work had collapsed and activity was being kept going mainly by existing orders. Construction is yet another industry that is bound to contract if demand continues at this low level.