The latest official statistics show that overall construction output in the UK recovered to pre-pandemic levels towards the end of the year, after previously dropping by over 40% in March last year.
The Office for National Statistics posted its latest release last week, based on data from November 2020, revealing that output levels were in fact 0.6% higher than they were back in February.
In fact, this marked the seventh consecutive month of growth, another positive sign for the short-term recovery of the construction industry. Overall, the three-month autumn period saw 12.4% higher output than during the summer.
The industry even grew notably faster in November compared to the previous month, showing an increase of 1.9% compared to 1.0% in October.
Commercial construction is proving to be the slowest sector to recover, growing by just 0.2% according to the latest figures, while industrial grew by 3.8% in November. These figures are still lower than they were before the pandemic.
Meanwhile, infrastructure made the most significant contribution of 9.6% growth, followed by private new housing which grew by 4.7%. These are the main factors driving the industry’s recovery to surpass the growth figures we saw in early 2020.
It’s important to consider that these figures do not yet take into account the effects of Brexit and the latest national lockdown. When December and January’s figures are released, we might not expect the same levels of short-term growth.
However, the figures are encouraging for an industry which, like many others, has faced unprecedented challenges in the last year. Although it will be some time before the full effects of all those challenges can be measured accurately, we’re already seeing great progress and look forward to more throughout the year.