The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Construction Industry Continues To Recover From COVID-19

Construction Industry Continues To Recover From COVID-19
14 September 2020 | Updated 29 October 2020

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that monthly construction output grew by 17.6 per cent in July 2020.

This follows the record monthly growth of 23.5 per cent in June 2020. The level of construction output in July 2020 was 11.6 per cent below the February 2020 level.

Construction output in total fell by 10.6 per cent in the three months to July 2020, compared with the previous three-month period.  The Office for National Statistics (ONS) states that this was driven by falls in both new work (9.7 per cent) and repair and maintenance (12.4 per cent).


"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.”

–Clive Docwra

Managing Director, McBains


Infrastructure sector graph

Picture: A graph showing components of new work and index volume measure in Great Britain during February 2020 to July 2020. Image Credit: Office for National Statistics

As shown in the above figure, infrastructure is the first sector where the level of output has surpassed the pre-coronavirus pandemic level in February 2020. 

The 17.6 per cent (£602 million) growth in repair and maintenance in July 2020 was because of increases in all repair and maintenance sectors. Private housing repair and maintenance grew by 24.6 per cent (£265 million) and non-housing repair and maintenance grew by 11.2 per cent (£219 million).


Industry Reaction – “Construction is Still a Long Way From Being out of the Woods”


Commenting on the new construction output figure, Clive Docwra, Managing Director of construction consulting and design agency McBains, commented:

“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 per cent 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 per cent in the three months to July 2020, with private new housing work alone falling by 17.0 per cent.

“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.”

Picture: A photograph of three people in high-vis waistcoats and hard hats looking at building plans on a large piece of paper

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 14 September 2020


Related Articles

UK to Have Legally Binding Sustainability Targets From 2022

As part of the updated Environment Bill, the government will underpin key environmental commitments with legally binding targets, including for air quality, water, waste...

 Read Full Article
Building Services Sector Backs Industry Prequalification Standard

Companies from the building services sector are encouraging the construction industry to embrace the new Common Assessment Standard, following the announcement of a...

 Read Full Article
IWFM CEO Says Budget Hasn’t Done Enough for Green Recovery

IWFM’s CEO, Linda Hausmanis has stated that she was surprised that the Budget made no provision for further funding to support the decarbonisation of...

 Read Full Article
The Budget 2021 – What do FMs Need to Know?

As Chancellor Rishi Sunak reveals this year’s Budget, what are the main points that facilities managers should be aware of? The annual Budget is set by the...

 Read Full Article
Nearly Zero Energy Requirements Extended to All New Buildings

A circular letter has been published by the UK Government to explain the minimal energy requirements in new buildings, that have been extended from the public to private...

 Read Full Article
Government Removes Kickstart Scheme Threshold

The UK government has removed the minimum limit of vacancies employers need to create to apply to the Kickstart Scheme. Previously, there was a need to create a...

 Read Full Article
Facilities Management Outsourcing Declines by 6% Due to COVID

2020 has seen a market value decrease of around six per cent in facilities management outsourcing, largely due to COVID-19 and the lockdown measures introduced to attempt...

 Read Full Article
Building Industry Urged to Redouble Site Safety Efforts

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has warned against safety complacency on construction sites during the new lockdown period. It congratulated the...

 Read Full Article
New Tier Rules in England – Hospitality Sector Reactions

As England’s new tier rules take effect, what does this mean for the already struggling hospitality sector? The Confederation of British Industry Chief UK Policy...

 Read Full Article
Sunak’s Spending Review – Industry Reactions

As the Chancellor announced an allocation of £55 billion to help tackle the virus in 2021, what were the reactions from the facilities and workplace management...

 Read Full Article