The number of construction contracts awarded increased by almost a quarter in October.
According to the monthly data from the leading provider of construction intelligence, Barbour ABI, 831 construction contracts were awarded in October, which is 23.3% higher than the figure in September.
That, however, is the only positive news for the sector in October; even though the number of contracts awarded in the construction industry increased in comparison to September, for the same month of last year, the number represents a decline of 6.3%.
For the value of construction contracts awarded in October, another fall has been recorded.
Based on a three-month rolling average, the data reveals that, in terms of contract activity, the value of those awarded in the month totalled £5.4 billion.
However, this is 3.8% lower than the figure recorded in September, and the £5.6 billion for that month was itself 6.1% less than August, which was the best performing month of the year.
It is hard to see that statistic changing for the remainder of 2018, given the time of the year; as we approach the winter months, less projects will be commissioned, therefore the sector is braced for a slowdown.
It has been a year of contrasting fortunes, with poor weather contributing to a slow sector at the start of the year, before the hot summer allowed projects to get up to speed, installing confidence within the construction industry.
However, the downturn is something that the number of construction contracts cannot mask; in terms of the value of contracts awarded, October 2018’s figure is 23.5% down from October 2017.
In the three months to October, the total value of contracts awarded in the sector hit £17 billion, which compared to £19.7 billion for the comparative three months of 2017.
London lead the way once again for the region in terms of contract awards, but the project with the greatest value is in Yorkshire & the Humber – a power station worth £350 million.