ONS: civils up beyond pre-crisis levels as industrial projects stall

Infrastructure has become the first part of the sector to bounce back above pre-crisis levels of output, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The value of infrastructure work in July was £1.97bn, the ONS said. This was 0.4 per cent above the £1.96bn recorded in February and 7.8 per cent higher than the value of infrastructure work in July 2019. Under a seasonal adjustment measure, which allows for different levels of work usually experienced at different times of year, July’s infrastructure value was up by 6.1 per cent compared to February.

The weakest level of recovery was seen in private industrial construction. A previously encouraging trajectory towards recovery stalled in June, as industrial work saw only a marginal increase on the value of June’s output. For the second month in a row it remained around 30 per cent below February, under the statistics body’s seasonally adjusted values. February is used as a benchmark as it is the last month to be entirely unaffected by the crisis.

ONS statistics show that all parts of construction have recovered substantially following the unprecedented £5.1bn drop in activity seen in April. Record growth of 23.5 per cent across the sector as a whole was seen in June, with a further 17.6 per cent added in July.