Commenting on the Construction Output Statistics, Robert Gibson, Director, Audit and Assurance at leading business advisory firm Grant Thornton in Belfast, said:

“While the latest figures on the level of output in the construction sector show a steep decline of 30% in the second quarter compared to the first three months of the year, this was to be expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The data covers the period from April to June, during which restrictions on movement were at their tightest, resulting in building work across the country largely grinding to a halt.

Robert Gibson
Robert Gibson

“All sub sectors therefore showed a decline in output, but optimism remains that the amount of work available will gradually return to previous levels as restrictions lift and when the coronavirus eventually subsides.

“Working with firms across the industry, our experience on the ground and sentiment among agents, conveyancing solicitors, and others tell us that there is still significant demand for housing stock.

“Meanwhile, we are already aware of an increase in repair and maintenance work over recent weeks and months as restrictions on movement have been eased.

“As overall demand will likely remain subdued, government support for ensuring major infrastructure projects are not delayed any further than is necessary will play a vital role in providing a much-needed boost in activity over subsequent quarters.”