The effects of Covid-19 saw the levels of new work orders in the construction sector fall to record lows in the second quarter of 2020, newly released figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed.
The value of new orders in Quarter 2 2020 (April-June) was £6,173m - the lowest level of new orders since records began in Quarter 1 1964.
The decrease in new work (35.2%) in Quarter 2 2020 was because of record quarterly falls in almost every new work sector; the largest contributor was private new housing, which fell by 51.2% in Quarter 2 2020 compared with Quarter 1 2020.
The decrease in repair and maintenance (34.7%) in Quarter 2 2020 was because of record falls in all repair and maintenance sectors; the largest contributor was private housing repair and maintenance, which fell by 46.5% in Quarter 2 2020 compared with Quarter 1 2020.
New orders decreased by a record 51.1% in Quarter 2 2020 compared with Quarter 1 2020; this decrease was because of record falls in both all other work and new housing, which declined by 51.9% and 49.0% respectively.
Monthly construction output grew by a record 23.5% in June 2020, substantially higher than the previous record monthly growth of 7.6% in May 2020; despite this strong monthly growth, construction output in June 2020 remains comparatively low at 24.8% below the February 2020 level, which was before the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Quarterly construction output fell by a record 35.0% in Quarter 2 (April to June) 2020 compared with Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020; this was driven by record falls of 35.2% in new work and 34.7% in repair and maintenance.
Click here to download the ONS New Orders and Construction Price Indices, April to June 2020.