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Increase in construction projects in August – statistics

Words: Laura Edgar
Housebuilding / iStock

The value of contracts awarded in the construction industry in August reached £5.8 billion, based on a three-month rolling average, a 7 per cent increase on the month.

According to industry analysts at Barbour ABI, this is unusual for August, which is typically a slow month.

Residential construction performed strongly, accounting for £2.7 billion. Barbour ABI said the high level of residential work “greatly helped” the number of construction projects commissioned in August, with a monthly increase of 20 per cent and up 15 per cent from August 2016.

The Economic & Construction Market Review suggests that the commercial and retail sector reached £787 million in August, a monthly increase of 47 per cent. The two largest projects in August came from this sector – 1 Park Place office development in Canary Wharf (£200 million) and Intu Leisure Lakeside development in Essex (£180).

The infrastructure construction contract value decreased by 44 per cent on July to £696 million. This is the fifth month in a row it has fallen.

London topped the regions with 20 per cent of the UK’s construction contract value in August, with the North-West accounting for 14 per cent, thanks to an £80 million development of Frontier Business Park in Blackburn.

Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “The construction sector can once again be thankful for the strong showing of the residential sector, which provided £1.8 billion more than any other sector in August, along with an increase of 55 per cent compared with August 2016.”

“It is encouraging to see the number of projects increasing steadily, particularly the larger projects from the commercial and retail sector. However, a lack of investment in infrastructure across August and for the most part of 2017 is not encouraging, as we haven’t seen many major projects come to fruition, especially after it was highlighted as a government priority earlier in the year.”

Economic & Construction Market Review can be found on the Barbour ABI website (pdf).

Image credit | iStock