Materials producers said this week that government figures showing a dip in infrastructure output in August are “a major concern”.
The Office for National Statistics recorded £1.08bn of infrastructure output in August,0.7% below the previous month, and 5.5% lower than in August 2012.
Construction Products Association economics director Noble Francis said the fall could undermine efforts to sustain the construction recovery.
“Infrastructure remains a major concern,” he said. “Despite repeated government announcements of capital investment for the sector, infrastructure output has in fact fallen 11% since the coalition came to power.”
Francis said private housing would lead the short-term recovery. “But it will only be sustained in the long-term with broader growth from other sectors - most notably the vital infrastructure sector, where government announcements will need to translate into real activity on the ground,” he added.
Overall construction output fell 0.1% from July to August.
This followed a 2.8% rise in July and left construction 4% higher than in August 2012.
Turner & Townsend UK managing director Steve McGuckin disputed Francis’ reading of the figures and was less worried about the slight drop in output.
“Britain’s construction industry has been making great strides for much of this year - and August’s underwhelming figures are a blip, not a trip,” he said.