Contract awards to suppliers hit year-high in July

Grant Prior 10 months ago

The value of contracts awarded to suppliers reached a year-high last month with 7.6bn of work in July according to industry expert Barbour ABI’s latest analysis.

A 184% monthly increase in the industrial sectors, including manufacturing, warehouses, and military projects was the driving force behind the uptick, alongside a positive month for infrastructure.

Infrastructure contributed £2bn in contract awards, mainly from renewable power generation, and the commercial sector also had a good month with £1.1bn awarded in large office projects.

Infrastructure also sawan exceptional month for planning approvals, posting £5.1bn, thanks to the £2.6bn Hornsea Project 4 and other renewable generation projects, contributing to £ of approvals in total – up from £8.4bn in June

The industrial sector saw its highest planning approval values in over a year, and the hotel and leisure sector saw the highest since January 2021 thanks to the Gateshead Quay Arena redevelopment.

Residential construction continued to struggle as contract awards remained low at £1.8bn – 15% down compared to 2022.

Barbour ABI Chief Economist Tom Hall said: “Our latest analysis shows some respite after a difficult period for the construction industry.

“However, given the uncertainties in the wider economy, these improved levels are unlikely to continue over the coming months. Meanwhile, the residential sector, hammered by high-interest rates and inflation, continues to struggle to keep its head above water.

“Planning applications, which are a strong indicator of future output, saw a very weak end result of £7.5bn per month in Q2, the lowest quarterly result since the first Covid-19 lockdown.

“Overall planning application activity was 23% lower in Q2 compared to last year. We also saw a 45% decrease month on month in infrastructure planning applications in last month’s figures, so this sector is unlikely to prop up the industry for much longer.”

For more construction market data click here.

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