UK construction sector contracted for third consecutive month

Britain’s construction sector contracted for the third straight month in September, according to the recent data released by the the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It is the first time that the construction sector has shrunk for three months in a row since the ONS began publishing monthly data five years ago.

The UK construction sector contracted 0.2% in September.

The reading failed to meet market expectations. Economists had forecast construction to return back to growth after the steep decline in August.

For the whole of the third quarter the sector shrunk by 2.2%.

New housing construction plunged 4.3% in the quarter – the biggest drop since the middle of 2012.

The country’s construction sector is still below its previous level before the 2008 recession.

The data is the latest in a wave of disappointing figures. UK GDP growth for the third quarter slowed down to 0.5% from 0.7%.

The data was released a day after Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane described the UK housing market as “broken”, highlighting the lack of construction of new homes.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: “It was particularly disappointing that there was not a rebound in construction output in September as activity had appeared to be held back in August by particularly bad weather.”