UK construction output plummets in April as lockdown measures takes it toll on the sector

Following the release of April GDP data from the UK:

Moustafa Ali, Economist at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company offers his view on the latest construction data release:

“GlobalData has revised down its forecast for the UK construction industry growth in 2020 to -7%, but a further downgrade of the forecast is likely given the country’s sharp fall April. UK construction output fell dramatically in April, falling by 40% month on-month and by 44% year-on-year according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Driven by a 41% decrease in new works and a 38% decrease in repair and maintenance, the fall in construction output reflects the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK, which subsequently forced many construction firms to temporarily halt works.

“However, with the reopening of sites in May and June there is likely to be fast sequential monthly growth in the next few months, given the historically low starting base in April.

“The largest falls came in the public housing sector which fell by 67%, private housing fell by 59% and private housing repair, maintenance and improvements fell by 54% compared to March 2020, according to ONS. The lowest falls in construction output came in public non housing works primarily in health and education, which fell only by 14%. This was likely due to new hospitals and health centres being in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

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