Construction Industry Update – February 2023

Inflation added £23bn to cost of construction last year

Rising costs add 23bn to the cost of construction output last year taking it to a record £204bn.

This is the first-time annual construction value surpassed £200bn and represented a 15% rise from 2021 output values in nominal terms.

Barbour ABI analysis of real versus nominal price indices showed the value would have been closer to £181bn if prices had remained at pre-pandemic levels.


Annual construction growth hits 5.7% despite fizzling out

Construction enjoyed growth of 5.7% last year even though according to latest monthly output figures it fizzled out in December.

Latest Government output figures show that December was flat after private new housing and repair dragged down otherwise positive growth in other sectors.

At the sector level, the main positive contributors were seen in non-housing repair and maintenance, and infrastructure new work, which increased 5.4% and 3.7%, respectively.


Developer confidence high in big regional cities

Developer confidence is running high across England’s three major cities despite the present economic headwinds.

City living projects in particular are feeding construction activities according to the latest Deloitte Regional Crane Survey.

In 2022, the cities recorded sustained or increased levels of development activity across a range of sectors including offices, residential, hotels, retail, education, and student housing.


Heavy material sales fall amid slowdown in starts

Heavy side product producers have reported a second quarter of falling sales impacted by a slide in project starts.

But light side product sales have held up supported by later use in project programmes and refurbishments and activity for energy-efficient retrofits continuing apace.

The split in fortunes was revealed in the Construction Product Associations latest State of Trade survey for the last quarter of 2022.

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