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Infrastructure thwarts construction as slump continues

March 2018

After a volatile 2017, and a poor start in January, February has not fared much better for the construction industry, with the value of new contracts awarded at £4.9 billion, which is 24% lower than at the same time last year.

 

The latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from Barbour ABI highlights levels of construction contract values awarded across Great Britain. Residential housing dominated the construction sector in February, with a total contract value of £2.1 billion, its highest figure for six months. Conversely, infrastructure contract value decreased by 48% - from £1.7 billion to £875 million - compared with last month, even with the largest overall project in February being the £350 million Hinkley Point C – Marine Works Package.

 

Outside of the Hinkley Point project, the three biggest projects in February were all London based: the £196m 1 Triton Square office project, the £110m Perfume Factory residential development and The Minories Estate redevelopment worth £100m.

 

London led all regions with contract values representing 25% of the UK total, including the three largest hotel, leisure and sport developments. It was followed by the South West, with 17% of the contract award value, and the North West, with a 13% share.

 

Michael Dall, Lead Economist at Barbour ABI, comments: “Whilst the slide in Infrastructure is disappointing, it is encouraging to see the increases in value for the majority of the construction sectors, particularly commercial and retail, which was in the midst of a three month slump.  With uncertainty surrounding the industry, and economy in general, improvements in various sectors should instil confidence, despite the overall figure being subdued.”

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