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Construction awards values increase at start of 2020

Words: Laura Edgar

There was an increase of 18.5 per cent in construction values awarded in January 2020 compared with December 2019.

The construction contracts awarded totalled £5.5 billion based on a three-month rolling total. This is 2.1 per cent more than the same period a year earlier.

The statistics have been published by industry analyst Barbour ABI in its latest Economic & Construction Market Review.

The figures show the largest sector was infrastructure, with 42.7 per cent of contracts awarded – the two largest contract awards totalled £3 billion together.

The residential sector is in second place with a share of 25.5 per cent.  

The largest contract award was the £2 billion Dogger Bank Creyke Beck 1.4GW Offshore Wind Farm, with the £1 billion Silvertown Tunnel project for Transport for London (TfL) coming in as the second-highest value scheme.

Barbour ABI said that regionally, London maintained its leading position with 32.5 per cent of all construction contract awards.

Yorkshire & Humber came in second place with 26.6 per cent of the contracts with all other regions winning less than a 10 per cent share. Scotland and the East of England came in third place with 6.5 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively.

Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research, said: “January’s strong contracts awards data suggests construction industry activity may be starting to respond after a clear general election result and the UK’s exit from the EU finally occurring, even if it is largely symbolic at this early stage. Whether the fog of uncertainty descends again as the upcoming UK-EU talks commence remains to be seen. Positive signs, such as the approval of HS2, indicate growth for the sector, but at the moment it is too soon to tell whether January’s increase will convert into a sustained boom for the industry.”

The latest Economic & Construction Market Review can be found on the Barbour ABI website.

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