Scotland business

Scottish construction output in year-on-year fall

House roof under construction Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Output from the housing sector in Scotland rose by 16% last year, according to ONS figures

Scottish construction output fell last year as activity in the infrastructure sector weakened, according to new figures.

Total industry output amounted to £14.5bn in 2016, compared with the previous year's record figure of £14.7bn.

Output from the housing, private commercial and repair and maintenance sectors were all up year-on-year.

But infrastructure output fell from a record high of £4.2bn to £3.1bn.

Private industrial activity was also down, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

Those sectors offset stronger performances in housing (up 16%), private commercial (up 6%) and repair and maintenance (up 5%).

'Encouraging results'

Commenting on the figures, Scottish Building Federation managing director Vaughan Hart said: "Overall, these are encouraging results.

"They suggest that the industry is moving in the right direction in terms of achieving a balanced recovery across different sectors, hopefully with a reduced reliance on major infrastructure projects to drive future growth as other key sectors such as housing, commercial and repair and maintenance continue to show strengthening performance.

"We will be watching closely to see if this momentum continues into 2017.

"However, that is obviously very much dependent on how the wider economy performs and there is still a good deal of uncertainty about future economic prospects just now."

Last month, a survey suggested Scottish construction firms were more optimistic about the year ahead than they were last autumn.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) found expectations of growth strengthened in the last quarter of 2016, following a dip after the Brexit vote.

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