The construction sector returned to growth in February but failed to offset fears over the pace of the economic recovery in the first three months of the year.
Construction sector output grew at 6.1% month-on-month in February, compared to a 12.9% month-on-month decline in January, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The figures are not seasonally adjusted.
However, economists said it is now likely output in the sector will decline overall in the first quarter of the year, acting as a drag on gross domestic product (GDP) growth and putting pressure on the services sector to help the overall economy avoid recession.
Alan Clarke, UK and eurozone economist at Scotiabank, said the figures were not the “Friday the 13th horror show” feared but were still “not quite as robust as we hoped for”.