How Has Covid-19 Affected The UK Construction Industry?

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How Has Covid-19 Affected The UK Construction Industry?

How Has Covid-19 Affected The UK Construction Industry?

There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the UK’s construction industry, with sites closed for weeks and only able to reopen in May as lockdown restrictions across the country were relaxed.

While it’s therefore little surprise that the sector, along with the rest of the economy, is expected to contract in 2020, the forecast may not be as dire as some had been expecting.

Design Build Network shared predictions from Global Data, which recently adjusted its predictions for the UK construction industry. It is now predicting a contraction of 5.8 per cent by the end of 2020.

This is compared to the estimate that the UK’s economy will contract by 8.7 per cent this year, which means that the construction sector is possibly set to fare better than feared.

However, not everyone shares this optimism. The Construction Products Association (CPA) recently revealed that output in the UK’s construction industry is expected to fall by 25 per cent this year.

According to the organisation, the freeze on construction work during April, in addition to the challenges construction firms face in terms of social distancing now that workers are back on site, are the main reasons for the substantial drop in output.

Noble Francis, economics director at the CPA, said that while the likes of private housing and commercial retail have been hit hard, other construction sectors are expected to recover more quickly.

The outlook is especially positive for infrastructure activity because of “a greater ability to implement safe distancing for workers on larger sites but also, vitally, thanks to HS2 being given the go-ahead to proceed”, he explained.

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