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Repair sector weathers construction storm

The repair and maintenance sector has grown by more than 2% since the start of 2008, keeping itself buoyant while overall construction output sank by 0.5%.
Construction output in the second quarter of the year also shows the repair and maintenance sector has grown by more than 6% since the same time in 2007.

The strength of the repair and maintenance market has been helped by the funding for energy efficiency improvements through the new CERT scheme which became operational in April 2008. The sector's positive results are also being attributed to the large fall in UK house sales, with householders opting to stay put and spend more on existing property.

In contrast, the UK has seen a dramatic slow-down in new build activity by the private sector, with new house building for the second quarter of this year nearly 17% down on the same quarter last year.

Construction Products Association chief executive, Michael Ankers said 'These figures confirm the serious state of the new housing market and the slowdown that many companies are experiencing in private sector industrial and commercial work. These figures also demonstrate the importance to the construction industry of government remaining committed to the capital spending plans set out in last year’s comprehensive spending review.

Ankers said 'Without the planned increase in spending on infrastructure, schools, hospitals and improvements to social housing, the construction industry would already be in recession, which would have serious consequences for the broader economy. The prime minister and the chancellor need to take full account of this as they put together their autumn economic recovery package.'
8 September 2008

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