According to the Bureau of National Statistics, the recovery in construction output continued in January after a decline in work in December.
Activity rose 0.9 percent for the month from December, when production declined for the first time since April 2020. In a less volatile three-month comparison, production rose by 1.7 percent, which reflects the ongoing recovery in recent months. The pioneers were industrial buildings and infrastructure work with a production increase of 7.5 and 7.4 percent in a three-month comparison in a three-month comparison.
Paul Fenner, construction manager at Accountant BDO, said the new numbers showed that the industry’s recovery was “back on track”. He said, “The more positive numbers reflect growing confidence among construction companies that the worst is behind them,” he said.
Fraser Johns, chief financial officer at Contractor Beard, said conditions had improved in recent months and customers were now keen to move ahead with their investments. “The success of the vaccine launch and the current schedule should help build confidence in the market over the coming weeks and months. As we enter spring, we expect demand to pick up quickly and recover when projects that have been postponed are approved, ”he said.
A four-point increase in the purchasing managers’ index in February was largely due to an increase in business as customers pushed their jobs forward.
Industry has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels of work. Production in January 2021 was 3 percent or £ 418 million below the level of January 2020. At 9.2 percent, new construction work is even further below the level of 2020. Of all the new work areas, only infrastructure performance was in January of this year higher than 12 months ago.
In contrast to new construction work, repair and maintenance work is 9.5 percent higher than in 2020.
Mark Robinson, CEO of Scape, urged the government to ensure that the recovery continues through 2021: “With the Chancellor’s budget setting the agenda – including a sustained commitment to infrastructure investment – the public sector and the construction industry need to work together.” To maximize these opportunities as COVID restrictions begin to relax, “he said.
“It is therefore critical that projects are able to move through procurement quickly to ensure that the positive momentum we are seeing and the positive impact on the UK’s long-term recovery are sustained.”