January 8, 2021

UK construction stays strong, fuelled by booming housing market

The UK’s construction sector sustained their rebound in December, helped by a booming housing market. New PMI data has shown that the construction and trade sectors slipped to 54.6 in December from 54.7 in November, but this remains well above the 50-point measure that separates expansion from contraction.

With England officially moving into its third national lockdown in response to the rapid spread of the new Coronavirus variant, the vast majority of the population will be confined to their homes for the foreseeable weeks. The tightening of restrictions has caused serious concerns for the UK’s economy, with many sectors and businesses fearing that they will have to close their doors for good. In light of these concerns, the industries that are allowed to remain open will prove to be the backbone of the economy during these concerning times. The Construction and Trade sectors have seen particular growth following the lift in the first spring lockdown and according to recent PMI data, and this upward trajectory is hoping to continue.

Ben Dyer, CEO of Powered Now, comments on the British construction and manufacturing sector’s sustained growth and the impact the national lockdown will have on SMEs in the trades.

“While the headlines about the PMI index will focus on the sustained rebound, we are more encouraged by the forward-looking optimism. This is especially true for the SME construction sector with order books close to bursting. The construction and trade industry traditionally has a slower December than many other sectors. This year it this has been exacerbated by Covid-19 fears and the poor weather. However, these results go to demonstrate the importance of the trade and construction sector during this pandemic. While supply chains may be feeling stretched due to delays at ports, ironically Brexit worries have helped keep the industry moving. With recent stockpiling by UK suppliers, there is no shortage of key materials in the UK. That is very good news given the major issues that arose in the first lockdown. 

With most of Britain being placed in national lockdown, this month and the remainder of the winter season are of course going to present yet more challenges. That’s why it would be prudent to look towards sectors that remain open, such as Construction and the Trades, to provide the kind of stability we need at the moment.”