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Construction output bounces back as material shortage softens

Monthly construction output increased by 3.5% in volume terms in November 2021, which is the largest monthly rise seen in construction output growth since March 2021.

Anecdotal evidence suggested the strong demand for work, in combination with supply chain bottlenecks for certain products easing and the unseasonal mild and dry weather were the main reasons for the increase.

The increase in monthly construction output in November 2021 came solely from an increase in new work (5.7%) as repair and maintenance saw a slight decline of 0.2% on the month.

Because of the strong November 2021 monthly growth, the level of construction output in November 2021 was 1.3% (£197m) above the February 2020 pre-coronavirus pandemic level. Although, new work was 1.6% (£148 million) below the February 2020 level, repair and maintenance work was 6.9% (£345m) above the February 2020 level.

The recovery to date, since the falls at the start of the pandemic, is mixed at a sector level, with infrastructure 49.3% (£923m) above and private commercial 28.0% (£698m) below their respective February 2020 levels in November 2021.

Alongside the monthly increase, construction output rose 1.6% in the three months to November 2021, the first three-monthly increase since July 2021, with similar increases seen in both new work, and repair and maintenance (1.5% and 1.6% respectively).

Month-on-month and three-month on three-month growth, chained volume measure, seasonally adjusted, Great Britain, November 2021 compared with October 2021 and September to November 2021 compared with June to August 2021

Trend three-month totals has shown that an increase has taken place across the majority of sectors, with commercial and public housing new work sitting behind the industry recovery.

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