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Green shoots? Construction boosts UK economy

The construction sector grew by 4 per cent in the third quarter of this year significantly boosting the UK’s overall GDP, according to official figures

Despite a slow start to the year caused by adverse weather conditions construction boomed at 9.5 per cent growth in the second quarter and is understood to have driven a 0.8 per cent increase in UK GDP.

Chris Romer-lee of Studio Octopi supports the data and describes a ‘noticeable lift’ in specific sectors.

He said: ‘Mid-high end private residential refurbishment and new build, has returned with a renewed buoyancy. As we’re all aware, property sales in the £1million bracket are spirited and we’ve a healthy flow of refurbishment work on the back of these transactions.

‘The advertising industry has also seen a boost in the last quarter and we’re sensing a renewed confidence with our clients in this sector.’

Chris Roche, director of 11.04 Architects, has also spotted the ‘first signs of a recovery’, which he thinks is driven by client investment in retail and commercial projects.

However he added: ‘Residential development appears to remain in depression due to the lack of funding available from banks for small scale development. Clearly the shortage of housing starts In the UK remains a critical political issue, and one which will have profound sociological impacts on both the current and next generation of first-time, home buyers.’

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation (BPF), said:

‘These are encouraging results and illustrate just how important a vibrant construction industry is to the overall UK economy.

‘During the last two quarters the construction industry has posted strong economic growth for the first time in three years. It is vital for the UK that it is allowed to maintain that momentum.’

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures cover the period from the end of June to the end of September.

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