Construction output fell 25% in March according to early indications

Construction is "in quicksand and sinking further".

According to a report in Development Finance Today, construction output dropped 25% in March compared with February, which is the sharpest fall since April 2009. 

The figures come from the IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index. It surveys 150 construction companies, so is an early indication only of the picture from last month. The companies in the survey overwhelmingly attributed reduced activity to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Development Finance Today quote Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit, as saying: "The closure of construction sites and lockdown measures will clearly have an even more severe impact on business activity in the coming months. Survey respondents widely commented on doubts about the feasibility of continuing with existing projects, as well as starting new work.”

Lower workloads and business closures had resulted in a marked reduction in staffing numbers - said to be the steepest pace of job shedding since September 2010.

Development Finance Today quotes Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, as saying: "With no upturn in sight . . . the sector is stuck in quicksand and sinking further.”