The latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from Barbour ABI has found that the total value of construction contract awards in November 2020 was £4.9 billion based on a three-month rolling average. This is a marginal (0.2%) increase on October but is 9.1% lower than for November 2019.
Contract award numbers decreased by 17.9% during November to 715 compared with 871 in October. Annual comparisons show a 16.4% decrease compared to 855 contract awards for November 2019.
In November, London was the leading region with 16.8% of awards and a total of 77 projects. The North West was only slightly behind accounting for a share of 16.3% of awards and a total of 98 projects. The third largest region this month was the South East with 13.9% of awards.
Analysis by sector indicates that residential maintained lead status in November accounting for 38.9% of awards. With 19.1% of awards, infrastructure was the second largest sector this month whilst in third place commercial & retail held share of 16.3%.
Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research, said: “The in-month value of contract awards in November was £3.9bn. This is less than the historical average and is consistent with our previous assessments that, since the first UK-wide lockdown, the construction industry has returned but at lower levels than previously. The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine has raised everyone’s hopes of a return to normality at some point in2021. But in the meantime we will have to manage many downside risks: a thin Brexit deal at the very best, higher unemployment and continuing movement restrictions over winter and spring.”
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