Construction output returns to growth in October

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UK construction output returned to growth in October, expanding by 0.2% compared with September, official figures show.

Although it was not quite as much as the 1% growth that economists had anticipated, the signs are positive for the final months of the year following a decline in the third quarter.

The figures are even more promising when a year-on-year reading is taken, as this shows output expanded by 1%, beating expectations of a 0.9% annual drop, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

September’s year-on-year figures were revised up to a contraction of 0.3% from a preliminary reading of 1.6% contraction.

The ONS revised up its estimate for construction output in the third quarter to show a drop of 1.9% compared with a 2.2% fall previously.

But its prediction of housebuilding output was revised down to show a quarterly decline of 5.6% in the third quarter.

The latest data indicates a better fourth quarter, however, as housebuilding output rose 1.5% in October compared with the previous month.

The figures come after the ONS altered the way it measures the performance of the construction sector.

After introducing the new system, its estimates of construction output were revised.

In the first months of the year, construction growth was revised to show a quarterly surge of 2.1% compared with an increase of just 0.2% previously.