Cautious optimism for construction

April saw a bumper month for construction contract awards of £9.1bn. This is the highest value since January 2020, according to the Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analysts Barbour ABI. 

 In April contract awards increased by 58% compared to March. Sector analysis shows that residential contract awards increased again in April to £2.5bn, up from £2bn in March. Infrastructure showed a strong performance, with a total value of contract awards reaching £2.1bn, the first monthly value over £2bn since January 2020. And the industrial sector activity saw the second highest monthly value on record of £1.2bn, driven once again by warehousing. 

Commenting on the figures, Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research was cautiously optimistic. “A year on from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic we have finally seen a value that starts to recover some of the lost ground. However, a fall in April’s planning approvals may demonstrate that the uncertainty plaguing the sector has not fully cleared.” 

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