NEW FIGURES SHOW CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY CONTINUING TO RECOVER FROM COVID-19 – BUT OUTPUT BELOW PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS: INDUSTRY COMMENT
Commenting on the new construction output figures published by the ONS today which show a third successive month of growth,Clive Docwra, Managing Director of leading construction consulting and design agency McBains, said:
“Today’s figures will be welcomed by the construction sector as a sign of its continuing recovery, but in reality they need to be viewed in the context of an industry that experienced a record 40% drop in output at the height of the lockdown.
“Construction is still a long way from being out of the woods and the upturn is extremely fragile, reflected by the fact the figures show that new work decreased by 9.7% in the three months to July 2020, with private new housing work alone falling by 17.0%.
“The big concern for the industry is if there’s a second spike and a further lockdown. The government needs to do all it can to ensure the sector maintains its recovery.
“On top of this, of course, a potential no deal at the end of the Brexit transition period is making investors nervous about committing to new projects. The Prime Minister may want the industry to ‘build, build, build’ but that’s difficult when many investors are saying ‘wait, wait, wait’ and holding off embarking on new developments until there’s greater clarity.”