Commercial and housing output still below pre-Covid crisis levels

However, CSO figures also suggest that construction and civil engineering are bouncing back
Commercial and housing output still below pre-Covid crisis levels

Commercial and housing construction have yet to return to their full health since the onset of the pandemic, new CSO figures reveal.  

Output of the industry was still down almost 10% in the third quarter since before the onset of the Covid crisis in 2019, according to the official figures.

The CSO figures show the volume activity of both the residential and non-residential parts of the industry was still lower than the third quarter of 2019, while the third leg of construction — civil engineering — had increased by a significant amount. However, there are signs residential building, in particular, is bouncing back.

The CSO said residential volumes were up almost 24% in the September quarter from the previous quarter, while non-residential and civil engineering also posted volume increases. Overall, construction production was up by 7.5% in the quarter. 

The figures give a glimpse into the heavy hit that construction has taken from the shutdowns and restrictions at building sites since last year. Around 12,000 fewer houses were completed that would otherwise have been built over the last two years, economists estimate.

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