Construction output fell by 5.9% in the month-on-month all work series in March 2020; this was driven by a 6.2% decrease in new work and a 5.1% decrease in repair and maintenance; all of these decreases were the largest monthly falls on record since the monthly records began in January 2010.
Anecdotal evidence received from across the industry suggested the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was a significant factor to these large falls as construction activity ceased or reduced significantly in March 2020; the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released a public statement on the coronavirus and the production of statistics.
The decrease in new work (6.2%) in March 2020 was because of falls in all new work sectors; private new housing and private commercial were the largest contributors, falling by 6.4% and 7.1% respectively.
The decrease in repair and maintenance (5.1%) in March 2020 was because of falls in all repair and maintenance sectors; the largest contributor was private housing repair and maintenance, which fell by 8.6%, the largest month-on-month fall on record.
Construction output fell by 2.6% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020, compared with Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019; this was driven by a 2.1% decrease in new work and a 3.5% decrease in repair and maintenance.
New orders grew by 11.8% in Quarter 1 2020 compared with Quarter 4 2019; this rise was because of increases in both all other work and new housing, which rose 11.5% and 12.5% respectively.
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