Contract Awards Were Strong In February Despite Global Crisis

The total value of construction contract awards in February 2020 was £6.5 billion based on a three-month rolling average. This is an increase of 16.9% on January and is also 19.9% higher than February 2019. Quarterly analysis shows that in the three months ending February 2020, the total value of construction contract awards was £16.6 billion. This is 10.6% higher than the previous quarter and is also an increase of 5.9% on the comparable quarter ending February 2019. The number of construction contract awards was 1,003 which is 12.3% higher than January.

The latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analysts Barbour ABI, highlights levels of construction contract values awarded across Great Britain.

The residential sector dominated in February with an attributable share of 57.0% of contract awards and was followed by infrastructure which attracted 21.7% of all construction contract awards this month. The concentration of awards between these two sectors meant that the next largest sector was commercial & retail with just a 5.5% share of awards, followed closely by hotel, leisure & sport with a share of 5.2%.

The region with the largest proportion of contract awards in February was London with 20.5%. This was followed by the North West region with attributable share of 14.6%. The West Midlands was the third largest region this month with 9.9% of awards and was followed closely by the South East which attracted 9.7% of construction contract awards. At the other end of the scale, Wales was the smallest region with just 2.4% of construction contract awards.

Commenting on the figures, Tom Hall, Chief Economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research said, “Contract awards were strong in February, and with the UK Budget announcement, promised investment should see contract awards hold up – particularly for the residential and infrastructure sectors. However, despite the proposed funding, with the rapid spread of Coronavirus across the globe, the trend is likely to be downwards from here and significant government action will be needed to support businesses and citizens as the social and economic impacts are felt.”

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