Pace of construction rebound slows

Aaron Morby 2 years ago
Share

Construction output grew for the fourth month running in August but the speed of recovery slowed dramatically.

The industry achieved output growth of 3% in August after some strong double-digit gains in previous months following the 41% cliff-edge drop last April.

Lower gains in August will dampen hopes for a full v-shaped recovery as output gains look rather more r-shaped, with industry output now running around 11% below pre-Covid levels.

Infrastructure was the only sector to have recovered all lost ground with output now 0.6% above the pre-pandemic activity level.

Private housing activity in August was 3.5% below February, with private commercial and industrial lagging by 19% and 41% respectively.

Monthly output % change


April -41%; May +9%; June +22%; July +17%; August +3%

Mark Robinson, chief executive at public sector procurement authority Scape Group, said: “Confirmation of further growth will hearten many in the industry whose determination continues to keep order books healthy, albeit below pre-Covid levels.

“However, the overall economic outlook remains ominous and construction will be expected to drive the ongoing recovery as other sectors regroup and evolve as government support recedes.

“The UK’s strategy is clearly in line with that of the IMF, and will continue to use historically low interest rates to invest in public infrastructure that will create jobs and accelerate towards a green recovery and an economy fighting fit for the future.

“If we’re to capitalise on this influx of central funding, contractors and public sector organisations must do all they can to get spades in the ground quickly.”

Clive Docwra, Managing Director of property and construction agency McBains, said: “After construction output picked up significantly in June and July, today’s figures bear out just how shaky the foundations are for the industry at the current time.

“Output still remains well below its pre-pandemic levels and although private new housing work showed strong growth, new industrial and commercial work is still declining.

“The unpredictability around further lockdowns is causing private commercial investors to remain cautious of committing to new developments.

“The government needs to ramp up its public infrastructure programme and speed up procurement to help tide the sector over while this fragility persists.”

Latest news

John Lewis £500m funding deal to build 1,000 rental homes

Deal to advance BTR flats at store sites in Bromley, West Ealing and Reading
3 hours ago

Eric Wright wins tricky £52m Liverpool transformation

Contractor working with engineers at Ridge and Partners on "challenging" Stanley Lock Flight site
2 days ago

Investment giant buys Bristol M&E contractor

RDCP Infrastructure acquires Avon Combined Electrical Services
3 days ago

Demolition start for £50m Farnworth town centre rebuild

Caddick Construction is tipped for main works due to start in the spring
3 days ago

L&G Modular strikes deal to build 1,000 affordable homes

Modular homes business teams up with Hampshire's Vivid housing association
3 days ago

Former Erith operations director joins John F Hunt

Scott Exell named new operations director at demolition specialist John F Hunt
3 days ago

Green light for £135m Leeds twin tower resi scheme

Construction to start in New Year on 500 build-to-rent apartments
3 days ago

Mace hits 1m tonnes carbon saving target for clients

Present work pipeline betters 2026 carbon emission saving target
3 days ago

Plans in for £40m surf park at former Kent colliery

Seahive surf lagoon and health resort will be built near Deal
4 days ago

Crushed demolition worker vows to return to industry

Shannon Brasier hoping to return to construction following horror accident
4 days ago

Mount Anvil to start 900-home North London estate rebuild

Planning approval paves way for Barnsbury Estate rebuild in Islington
4 days ago

Green light for major laboratory campus in Cambridge

Developer BioMed to tender first building on 600,000 sq ft lab complex in the New Year
4 days ago

Belfast firm signs the biggest work deal yet under Project Gigabit

Fibrus to hook-up rural Cumbria to lightning-fast broadband under £108m deal
4 days ago

McLaren wins Leeds logistics park contract

Work to start imminently on warehouse complex for Firethorn Trust
4 days ago

Work restarts on £683m waste power plant after site death

Construction suspended for a week of investigations following fatality
4 days ago

Demolition starts on £135m Wigan Galleries scheme

Contractor BCEGI starts work on project to redevelop Wigan town centre
5 days ago

Amey CEO to step down following private equity buyout

Amanda Fisher to leave once business is transferred to new owners
5 days ago

New body set up to vet plant operator card schemes

Contractor trades bodies unite to tackle competency concerns over plant operator skills cards
5 days ago

Kier leads switch to hybrid battery generators

Battery units work alongside smaller generators cutting run times by nearly 60%
5 days ago

Plans in for first Leeds co-living scheme

Watkin Jones submits plan to convert old Direct Line HQ into 230 studio flats
5 days ago

Demolition worker crushed by excavator

Court hears 20-year-old woman was left with "life changing injuries"
5 days ago

Government pays £700m for 50% stake in Sizewell C

New body, Great British Nuclear, will be set up to develop pipeline of nuclear projects
5 days ago

Costain wins Heathrow Airport asset renewal deal

Firm takes early contractor involvement role in Terminal 2 baggage handling upgrade
6 days ago

Worker killed on £683m waste power plant site

Fatal collision involving heavy goods vehicle on giant north London site
6 days ago

HS2 JV shifts four Wembley Stadiums of earth in record time

EKFB team digs and hauls 15 million cu m of muck in 20 months
6 days ago

Milestone wins £300m Wiltshire highways upkeep

Ringway will hand over to Milestone in March next year
6 days ago

Low-risk business model helps Renew post record results

Renew reveals latest acquisition with £15.6m purchase of water specialist Enisca
6 days ago

London Albert Embankment hotel towers approved

Two separate hotels rising to 26 and 29 storeys approved
6 days ago

Keltbray names new director of strategic engineering

Tim Lohmann takes up newly-formed role to drive innovative engineering solutions
6 days ago

Go-ahead for £200m lithium refinery on Teesside

Work to start next year on Europe's first lithium hydroxide processing plant
7 days ago

Contractor services