UK: The Construction Products Association (CPA) has predicted a 25% year-on-year decline in total national construction output in 2020. It said that the coronavirus lockdown resulted in the loss of 60% of planned construction output in April 2020, included 85% of homebuilding.
CPA economics director Noble Francis said, “Even under this most optimistic of scenarios, the country’s construction activity would suffer its sharpest fall ever recorded. Returns to site in May 2020 will focus on partially completed developments rather than new starts as house builders are expected to be cautious given uncertainty regarding demand. This uncertainty will also keep the recovery muted in commercial offices, industrial factories and the most severely-affected sub-sector, commercial retail.” He added, “A more positive outlook is expected for infrastructure activity thanks to 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. An increase in activity from the five-year investment programmes within regulated sectors such as water and sewerage, roads and rail also adds to this more positive story.”