ONS figures show largest fall in construction output on record

Construction output fell by 40.1% in the month-on-month all work series in April 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This was driven by a 41.2% decrease in new work and a 38.1% decrease in repair and maintenance; all of these decreases were the largest monthly falls on record since the monthly records began in January 2010.

The decrease in new work (41.2%) in April 2020 was because of record month-on-month falls in all new work sectors; private new housing and private commercial were the largest contributors, falling by 59.2% and 39.7% respectively.

The decrease in repair and maintenance (38.1%) in April 2020 was because of record month-on-month falls in all repair and maintenance sectors; the largest contributor was private housing repair and maintenance which declined by 54.3%.

Construction output fell by record 18.2% in the three months to April 2020, compared with the previous three-month period; this was driven by a 19.4% fall in new work and a 15.8% fall in repair and maintenance.

Data for April 2020 was collected by online questionnaire for the first time rather than by paper questionnaire as previously; anecdotal evidence received from extensive contributor comments and the Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey (BICS) noted that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic drove the large falls in construction output in April 2020.