The week long battering by storms, Dudley, Eunice and Franklin dampened construction output in February as more working days were lost.
Monthly construction output slipped by 0.1% due to lost time and project delays.
The main contributors to the decline in February were new infrastructure, and non-housing repairs and maintenance, which decreased by 2.5% and 0.9% respectively.
Buyers reported the fastest rise in construction orders since August 2021 last month.
But business optimism sank to a 17-month low due to rampant inflation and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The bellweather S&P Global / CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index registered 59.1 in March – unchanged from February and well above the 50.0 mark that separates expansion from contraction.
Cost pressures are set to rise in the contracting environment, where contractors are both busy with existing projects and invitations to tender which will drive bid price rises of 8.5% in building work this year.
In the face of soaring energy prices exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine, cost consultant Turner & Townsend has nearly doubled forecast tender price inflation for buildings from its winter 2021/22 prediction of 4.5%.
Infrastructure is also set to see increased bid prices of 6%, compared to the previous forecast of 4%.
London has returned to first place as the most expensive city in the world in which to build.
According to the study by Arcadis, comparative construction costs across 100 global cities, London ranked first, followed by Geneva and Oslo.
This was due to a combination of cost drivers including: Rising energy costs, material shortages and labour availability.