Construction contract awards down 18.7% compared to August 2018

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The value of all construction contract awards in August 2019 was £4.9bn, a decrease of 5.6% on July, and a decrease of 18.7% when compared to August 2018

In the three-month period ending August 2019, total construction contract awards were valued at £15.2bn which is an increase of 2% on the previous quarter and 1.8% higher than for the comparable quarter ending August 2018. This figure has been held up by several substantial construction contract awards in June and July 2019.

The latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analysts Barbour ABI highlights levels of construction contract awards across Great Britain. The residential sector continues to dominate construction contract awards and held the largest share in August with 42.5%.

Dominance by the residential sector meant that all other sectors have a much smaller share this month. Infrastructure was the second largest sector in August with 14.0% of awards, followed by education with a share of 11.4% which was only marginally ahead of the industrial sector accounting for 11.3% of contract awards.

The leading region in August was London with a share of 17.0% of awards, followed by Yorkshire & Humber with a share of 13.5% and then the East Midlands with 11.0% of all construction contract awards.

The largest contract award in August was the £120m development by the University of Leicester, for a new academic building and 550 space multi-storey car park on the Freeman’s Common site.

Commenting on the figures, Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research, said: “The decline in project awards in August may be due to seasonality, and follows a strong June and July.

“However, it is concerning to see a 18.7% decline compared to August 2018. The total value of contract awards was held up by the residential sector.

“While the Spending Review announced by the Government this month suggests future increases in investment for sectors including infrastructure and medical & health, it will take a while for projects to commence.”

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