Report highlights further drop in construction contract awards for May25 June 2020

The total value of construction contract awards in May 2020 was £2.4 billion based on a three-month rolling average, according to the latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analysts Barbour ABI, which highlights levels of construction contract values awarded across Great Britain.

This is a decrease of 45.9% on April and is also 52.3% lower than May 2019. Contract awards numbers in May decreased by 16.2% to 263, approximately 73.8% below the recent high point of 1,003 recorded for February 2020.

According to the report, the residential sector dominated the share of contract awards in May with a total of 31.4%. This was followed by the education sector (19.4%), commercial and retail sector (16.6%), infrastructure sector (13.1%), industrial sector (9.9%), hotel, leisure and sport sector (5.8%), and medical and healthcare sector (3.8%).

Meanwhile, the total value of planning approvals has remained consistent throughout 2020 when looking at the three-month rolling value average, with May 2020 at 7,540, which is just 1.2% down on pre-lockdown figures in February 2020.

Commenting on the figures, Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research, says: “A continued decline in contract awards was expected for May and is in line with the government lockdown guidelines. However, we anticipate a slight increase in contract awards for June as restrictions continue to be eased and hope that the strong planning pipeline will come to site sooner, rather than later, as the sector looks to bounce back post Covid-19.”

Adam Offord

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