February Construction Update from BEIS

The latest Monthly Construction Update from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which uses the Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) as one its sources, is now available.

Monthly construction output increased by 2.0% in volume terms in December 2021. While new work increased by 3.5% in the month, repair and maintenance declined by a further 0.7%.

While new work output remains lower than before the pandemic hit (-2.0%), repair & maintenance work was 4.5% (£225 million) above its February 2020 level.

Compared to the same month last year, construction output was up significantly (+7.4%), with new work increasing by 9.9% and repair and maintenance higher than December 2020.

The annual rate of construction output price growth was 6.2% in the 12 months to December 2021; the strongest annual rate since records began in 2014.

The IHS Markit CIPS construction purchasing managers index for January 2022 indicated an increase in construction activity compared to the previous month. At 56.3 in January, up from 54.3 in December, the Total Activity Index registered above the 50.0 no-change mark for the twelfth month in a row. The latest reading signalled the strongest rate of output expansion since July 2021. Commercial work was by far the best performing category.

The latest Monthly Statistics of Building Materials and Components were published by BEIS on 2nd February. It shows that the material price index for ‘All Work’ increased by 21.5% in December 2021 compared to December 2020, and by 0.4% compared to November 2021.

The latest BMBI report for November 2021 confirmed merchants’ value sales were 17.4% higher in than in the same month the year before, with all categories performing above November 2020.

As well as the figures above, the update includes an assessment of the impact of Covid-19 and the ‘Business insights and impact on the UK economy‘ publication, which is based on responses from the voluntary fortnightly business survey (BICS), and construction sector forecasts by Experian and by the Construction Products Association.

The February update also includes the headlines from the Bank of England Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions report, statistics on the furlough scheme – which has now ended – from HMRC, as well as forecasts from the OECD’s latest economic outlook.

To download the latest BEIS Monthly Construction Update click here