21.2% rise in UK construction contract awards in August

site with cranes and scaffolding

THE total value of UK construction contract awards in August was £4.4 billion, based on a three-month rolling average, according to the latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analysts Barbour ABI.

This is 21.2% higher than July but is a decline of 8.5% compared with August 2019.

Barbour ABI said the rolling three-month average data is positive, but examination of the ‘raw’ monthly data shows that contract awards in August were 37.6% lower than for July with value of £3.9 billion. However, July was ‘particularly buoyant’ and the data for August perhaps reflects a return to more normal growth levels, however, is still 146.9% higher than the recent low point of £1.6 billion for May 2020.

Analysis by sector indicates that residential construction accounted for 37.6% of awards. Infrastructure was second with 30.5%. Vying for third place was education and industrial, representing 9.4% and 9.0% respectively.

Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research said, “The UK economy continued its stronger than expected recovery in July, growing by 6.6% following June’s expansion of 8.7%. The economy has now recovered around half of the lost output between March and May. In the construction industry, contract awards returned strongly in July, but in-month awards were significantly lower in August.”