Construction starts climb-back after cliff-edge output fall

Aaron Morby 4 years ago
Share

Construction output rose by 8.2% in May after the record cliff-edge fall suffered in April at the height of the industry’s lockdown.

But the bottom bounce still left monthly construction output £5.2bn lower or 39% down on the pre-Covid-19 lockdown level in February.

May’s 8.2% surge in construction is more than four times better than the growth seen in the wider economy.

After April’s gravity-defying 40% plunge in monthly output, the industry’s fightback figures appear exceptional with private sector house building jumping by over a fifth, and public sector residential construction surging 42%.

Fraser Johns, finance director at Beard, said: “After April’s huge 40% drop in output, it’s encouraging to see May’s figures beginning to point towards a recovery in construction work.

“It has been one of the sectors worst-affected by Covid-19, and for the construction industry itself and also for the health of the wider economy, it is vital that this recovery continues to gather pace.

“Under normal circumstances, a month-on-month increase of 8% would be something to shout about, but with output still nearly two-fifths lower than in February, it will clearly be a long haul to get back to similar volumes as before the ‘lockdown’.

“Many firms will continue to suffer in the meantime, but the industry is adapting to new working procedures and finding ways to increase efficiency.

“Times are likely to remain hard for some time to come, but we will get through this.”

Large falls across all sectors drove the record fall in output in the three months to May 2020

In the three months to May construction output is still 30% down compared to the previous period.

Private new housing and private commercial were the largest contributors, falling by 42.5% and 29.5% respectively.

Gareth Belsham, director of the national property consultancy and surveyors Naismiths, said: “These are still very early days. While the absolute worst may be past, the industry is still braced for the whiplash effect of what may be a long and painful recession.

“Fragile business confidence and weak levels of investment will continue to constrain demand for many months, and the road to recovery will be long and hard. But at least it starts here.”

Latest news

Gove puts another major building scheme on hold

Secretary of State starts another planning fight after M&S defeat
55 mins ago

Sellar plans £500m City tower next to Walkie-Talkie

Consultation starts on London 60 Gracechurch Street tower
5 hours ago

Severfield ends year on high with record order book

Orders top £500m with strong future pipeline of opportunities ahead
5 hours ago

Second senior director exits National Highways

Commercial director Malcolm Dare set to move on to new role
5 hours ago

New scheme fuels London lab building boom

Plans in for 160,000 sq ft Whitechapel scheme near Royal London hospital
6 hours ago

Contract race starts for next £155m section of A9 dualling

Prior Information Notice published for Tay Crossing to Ballinluig stretch
21 hours ago

£55m Sheffield build-to-rent scheme approved

Demolition to start later this year for 158-flat Sheffield Garden project
21 hours ago

London back as most expensive place to build in world

Capital leapfrogs Geneva to top costliest construction rankings
1 day ago

Gas supplier Regent to buy TClarke for £90m

£491m turnover listed building services specialist to be sold
1 day ago

Steel contractor Billington launches into bridge market

Steelwork firm hires staff from failed architectural and bridge specialist SH Structures
1 day ago

McGee employees benefit from rise in profits

Pre-tax profit doubles boosting payouts for Employee Ownership Trust
1 day ago

Lendlease veteran is latest new McAlpine director

Paul Sims joins as Operations Director after 40 years at rival contractor
2 days ago

Costain signs site labour supply deal with four firms

Contractor to use only a quartet of providers for temporary labour supply
1 day ago

BAM go-ahead for Leeds 200,000 sq ft office

Latitude Yellow will complete final plot at Doncaster Monk Bridge site
2 days ago

VolkerFitzpatrick wins £30m logistics job

Latest deal to build five distribution units for Prologis UK
2 days ago

Trio win new Scape utilities consultancy framework

Perfect Circle, AtkinsRéalis and Arcadis win places on
1 day ago

Precast firm FP McCann cleared after immigration raid

Home Office takes no action after public raid on construction site
2 days ago

Wates-owned SES restructure delivers record profit and revenue

Building services contractor revenue soars to almost £300m
2 days ago

25 groundworks firms win £100m Places for People deal

M&J Evans, Carmac and Churngold Construction feature in housing association's line-up
2 days ago

Energy efficiency firms angry at lack of CITB support

SME contractors funding bid "does not meet the current criteria for supporting productivity or EDI"
2 days ago

£400m South Cambridge science park approved

Outline approval allows former sewage treatment works to be demolished
2 days ago

McLaren gets green light for 45-storey Leeds tower

Landmark Wellington Square scheme will see 464 flats built with 360,000 sq ft of offices
5 days ago

Heavy rain causes 1.9% construction output fall

Hopes remain undampened of a resi-led recovery this summer
5 days ago

Taziker restruture to return to profitability after £1.2m loss

Founders bought the business back from private equity after last year's loss
5 days ago

£220m London wharf homes scheme approved

285 homes to be built beside protected Albert and Swedish Wharves in Wandsworth
5 days ago

Major project veteran named civils director for Sizewell C

David Speight previously worked on Hinkley, Heathrow and HS2 client teams
5 days ago

Morgan Sindall lands £19m Milton Keynes hospital job

Crane lifts to be carefully co-ordinated to ensure air ambulance remains active
6 days ago

Clancy bolsters civils leadership team

Daniel Tonkin and Simon Hyams join as operation directors of water and infrastructure
6 days ago

Balfour names new project boss for HS2’s super-hub station

Steve O’Sullivan replaces Nigel Russell who was promoted to CEO of Balfour's HS2 ops
6 days ago

Buckingham Group supply chain hit doubles to £256m

Total owed to unsecured creditors soars as surety providers finalise claims
6 days ago

Contractor services