The latest Economic & Construction Market Review from Barbour ABI has been released, covering the construction industry’s performance in May.
Released every month, the review collates value of contracts awarded, number of projects and breakdowns into regions based on a three-month rolling average.
For May, the value of new construction contracts awarded hit £4.5 billion, which is based on a the aforementioned three-month rolling average.
Unfortunately for the construction industry, this represents a fall from the corresponding figure in April, when the value of construction-related contracts awarded reached £4.9 billion.
The decrease, which was recorded at 8.9%, follows a broader trend in the industry; already this year, there have been declines in the value of these contracts, and between March and April, there was a drop of 6.8%.
According to the Economic & Construction Market Review and the Barbour ABI data, the comparisons with 2017 are not favourable either; the value of construction contracts awarded in May 2018 was 8% lower than May 2017.
For the three months to May, there were £14.7 billion worth of contracts awarded, which is also down from the same three months of 2017.
Elsewhere, there was a fall in the number of contracts awarded in May – the 845 contracts is almost 10% down on April’s levels and also lower than the same time last year.
In this context, it is obvious that the construction sector is having a hard time at the minute, with sectors such as residential and infrastructure – traditionally two of the largest for the sector – suffer from decreases in contract values.
However, despite the fall in private housing output in May, it was still 6.8% higher than at the same time in 2017, therefore it represents, according to Barbour, “a longer term increase.”
London is the biggest beneficiary of May’s contracts, with 18.8% of contract value awarded that month going to projects in the capital.