Increases in contract awards in the North West, East of England and the South West.
Contract awards in the commercial sector valued £7.3bn, 4% lower than 2019’s £7.6bn. The number of projects fell by 17% to 1,100 from 1,400. This is broadly consistent with preceding years and continues the long negative trend in the sector.
The sector experienced a major shock this year with a huge increase in home working leaving offices unoccupied and retail stores shuttered for much of the year resulting in a surge in online purchases by consumers.
Total number of contract awards decrease by 16% in 2020 and values fall by 5%.
Construction output increased by 2% in November, bringing the in-month value above pre-Covid levels for the first time. This was achieved through strong infrastructure activity, as well as repair & maintenance activity across all sectors. Private housing was also strong in November and continued its upward trajectory since the summer.
However aggregate output for 2020 remained significantly down on 2019. Housing has taken the largest hit, at 20% below last year’s levels – public housing especially is down, by 28%. The industrial and commercial sectors are 18% and 17% lower respectively. The sectors least impacted are infrastructure (-3%), RMI (-5%) and public non-housing (-7%).