Tough April but better May for sector

The construction industry shrank by more than 40% in April, before it started to show signs of recovery in May.

According to figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the value of construction was down by £5.1bn, at £7.6bn,
compared with output of £12.7bn in March.
New work fell by more than 41%, and repair and maintenance by 38%.

‘All of these decreases were the largest monthly falls since records began in January 2010,’ the ONS said.

The sector was down by 44% compared with April 2019. Housebuilding was the hardest hit, with public and private sector residential
projects falling by more than 63% and 66% respectively compared with 12 months earlier.

New infrastructure work was down by 20.7%.

In April, 42.5% of construction businesses reported no turnover at all. However, figures for May from information specialist Glenigan showed glimmers of a recovery, with the value
of new work down by just 23% compared with last year.

Most sites are now open again and a survey by Build UK reported infrastructure sites achieving 89% of pre-crisis productivity levels, while general building sites are up to 78%