Civils contractors today said that a fall in construction output in Q1 was to be expected in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, but that investment in infrastructure offers the quickest route to recovery for the UK economy.
According to the Office for National Statistics construction output fell by 2.6 per cent in Q1 2020, driven by a 2.1 per cent decrease in new work, and a 3.5 per cent decrease in repair and maintenance.
Commenting, Director of External Affairs for the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Marie-Claude Hemming said: “Given many construction sites were paused in March to ensure they could operate safely, it is no surprise that there has been a drop in activity.
“And like all sectors of the economy, the construction industry is facing bleak prospects in the months ahead.
“Government support for businesses and employees has been outstanding, but it is clear that concerted action will have to be taken to return the economy to growth and ensure a speedy recovery from Covid-19.
“That’s why we’re calling on Government to continue to work with industry to develop a targeted plan of investments to get schemes forward to market as quickly as possible in the coming months.
“We know that investment in infrastructure creates jobs and drives growth. Before the crisis hit, the UK Government had rightly set out a bold vision to ‘level up’ the country through investment in transport and utilities. It is time to remain true to that vision and ensure an infrastructure-led recovery for the whole of the UK.”
< ENDS >