The main points:
Monthly construction output increased by 1.7% in volume terms in March 2022; this is the fifth consecutive monthly growth and a record high in monthly level terms (£14,994 million) since monthly records began in January 2010.
The increase in monthly construction output in March 2022 was driven by increases seen in both repair and maintenance (3.0%) and new work (1.0%). At the sector level, private housing repair and maintenance (5.8%) and private commercial new work (4.0%) were the main contributors to the monthly increase.
Anecdotal evidence from returns received for the Monthly Business Survey for construction and allied trades suggested storms between 16 and 21 February 2022 resulted in businesses seeing a higher workload in March 2022; this is because of the repair work derived from the storms.
The level of construction output in March 2022 was 3.7% (£539 million) above the February 2020 pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic level; new work was 1.6% (£148 million) below the February 2020 level, while repair and maintenance work was 13.8% (£687 million) above the February 2020 level.
Along with the monthly increase, construction output rose 3.8% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022; outside of the coronavirus pandemic period, this is the strongest quarterly growth since Quarter 1 2017 (3.9%).
Total construction new orders decreased by 2.6% (£346 million) in Quarter 1 2022 compared with Quarter 4 2021; despite this quarterly fall, all sectors are still above their pre-coronavirus pandemic level (Quarter 4 2019).
The annual rate of construction output price growth was 7.3% in the 12 months to March 2022; this was the strongest annual rate since records began in 2014.
Estimates for March 2022 are subject to more uncertainty than usual because of challenges faced with data collection. This has led to lower response rates than those seen before and during the coronavirus pandemic.
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