Construction contract awards rise by 21.2% in September

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Construction contracts, Contract awards

The total value of construction contract awards in September 2020 was £5.4bn based on a three-month rolling average, this is 21.2% higher than for August, according to Barbour ABI’s Economic & Construction Market Review

Contract awards in September 2020 were 13.8% higher than September 2019.

The total construction contract awards were valued at £13.5bn in Q3 2020. This is 47.1% higher than Q2 but is 8.4% lower than for Q3 2019. Monthly data has seen a significant uplift in September to £6.0bn which is an increase of 52.5% on the £3.9bn in August.

Residential sector maintained lead status

The residential sector maintained lead status in September accounting for 32.8% of awards.

Infrastructure was the second largest sector in September with an attributable share of 20.8% of awards. The commercial & retail sector was the third largest this month accruing 16.1% of the total.

Regional analysis shows that London was the leading region in September with 22.6% of awards.

The second-largest region was the East of England with 13.7% of awards and was followed by the West Midlands which accounted for 11.0% of awards.

Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research said: “After 3 months of recovering activity, contract awards over July-September returned to pre-Covid 19 average levels.

“Given the size of the shock to the construction industry and the wider economy that is cause for celebration. However, these numbers will contain an element of catch-up from the lost activity in April-June, so underlying activity is likely to be somewhat weaker than the headline numbers.

“The recovery so far has been evident more in the public and infrastructure sectors, with the commercially minded sectors remaining slightly subdued.

“With significant uncertainties remaining it will be interesting to see how the situation evolves over the coming months.”

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