The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has reported that monthly construction output fell by 1.6% in July 2021, with the level of output now below its pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic February 2020 level. New work, and repair and maintenance contributed to the monthly decline in July 2021, with anecdotal evidence from businesses suggesting that price increases and product shortages caused by supply chain issues were the main reasons for the decline.
The level of construction output in July 2021 was 1.8% (£257 million) below the February 2020 pre-pandemic level. New work was 3.2% (£285 million) below the February 2020 level, repair and maintenance work was 0.6% (£27 million) above the February 2020 level.
The recovery is mixed at a sector level, with infrastructure the best performing sector over the pandemic at 35.7% (£649 million) above its February 2020 level and private commercial the worst performing sector over the pandemic at 20.3% (£481 million) below its February 2020 level in July 2021.
Monthly construction output fell by 1.6% in volume terms in July 2021 because of declines in both new work (1.1%) and repair and maintenance (2.4%).
The decline in monthly output in volume terms in July 2021 came mainly from private housing, which saw falls in both new work, and repair and maintenance of 7.5% and 6.2% respectively; this was driven by the impact of price increases likely caused by product shortages in the sector.
Alongside the monthly fall, construction output fell by 0.6% in volume terms in the three months to July 2021, the first three-monthly fall since February 2021, driven by a fall in repair and maintenance of 2.9%.
The decline in repair and maintenance (2.9%) in the three months to July 2021 was mainly because of a fall in private housing repair and maintenance, of 8.3%.
New work saw an increase of 0.7% in the three months to July 2021; the largest contributors to this growth were infrastructure and to a lesser extent private industrial, which grew by 17.5% and 8.2% respectively.