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17/03/2021

Contract awards values rose in February

Words: Laura Edgar
Warehouse / iStock-1078226376

Data suggests that contract awards increased by 11 per cent from £4.3 billion in January to £4.7 billion in February.

Industry analyst Barbour ABI said this remains below average levels.

The latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review found that as in January, distribution centres made up two of the top four contract awards.

These are a distribution hub in Wakefield worth £186 million and a Lidl distribution centre in Bedfordshire with a value of £100 million.

Analysis shows that “residential strengthened” in February to £1.9 billion; the West Midlands demonstrated strong activity. Infrastructure also rose 78 per cent to £900 million compared with January. Barbour ABI says the largest infrastructure projects are the National Grid LNG terminal expansion in Kent and the M25 junction 28 improvements in Essex.

Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research, said: “There was not a huge amount to see in February as planning activity was maintained; no pre-Budget optimism to be seen. Contract awards strengthened slightly while planning applications and approvals weakened. Approvals particularly are looking fragile. Elsewhere, the significant activity in warehousing and distribution continued, and infrastructure contract awards returned to previous levels after a weak January.”

Image credit | iStock

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