Construction sees bumper month as contract awards increase by 58%


In April 2021, contract awards increased by 58% compared to March to £9.1 billion. A level not seen since January 2020, says industry experts.

Sector analysis by Barbour ABI shows that residential contract awards increased again in April to £2.5 billion, up from £2.0 billion in March. Data analysts have seen a strong performance for infrastructure, with a total value of contract awards reaching £2.1 billion, the first monthly value over £2.0 billion since January 2020.

The industry experts also say the industrial sector activity has seen the second-highest monthly value on record of £1.2 billion in April, driven once again by warehousing.

Commenting on the figures, Tom Hall, Chief Economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research said, “Building on the improvements in the planning environment we reported in March, April saw a bumper month for contract awards of £9.1bn. This is the highest value since January last year. All sectors apart from healthcare saw sizeable monthly increases to well above their long-term average values, particularly the infrastructure and commercial sectors. 

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 back to previous levels seen over the second half of 2020 may demonstrate that the uncertainty plaguing the sector has not fully cleared. We require a sustained increase over a  period of time to fill the weak construction pipeline.” 

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