The latest figures from Barbour ABI, which supplies construction data to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Cabinet Office and Treasury (released 20 February), reveal that the industrial construction sector in January increased its total value of contracts by over 38% compared to December.
The data shows industrial construction in January 2015 rose above the £500 million barrier based on a three month rolling average, compared to £362 million recorded in January 2014. This is described as an ‘encouraging sign’ for a sector that has already performed ‘relatively well’ over the last 12 months, having had a 26% increase for year on year growth in 2014.
The figures also revealed the North West was the region with the highest value of industrial activity in January, contributing to 36% of the contracts awarded.
Commenting on the findings from the latest Economic Construction Market Review, Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said:
“In the three months to January, the total value of contracts for industrial construction was £1.2 billion, almost 18% higher than the previous three months. Whilst a large portion of the value is from the two major North West contracts, it is nevertheless encouraging with the sector likely to expand as we move further into 2015.
“The total value of industrial projects reaching the advanced planning stage in 2014 was £6.4 billion, an increase of over 50% on 2013, indicating a bright future for the sector.”
A surge in office construction is also helping to drive growth in the construction sector, according to Barbour, which reports that January 2015 saw a 26% increase in the value of office construction projects awarded in the UK, compared to the same time last year, accounting for 74% of the total value of all contracts awarded within the commercial and retail sector last month.
Major project contracts such as the £100 million development of Atlantic Square in Glasgow and the £90 million 70 St Mary’s Axe scheme in London, were reportedly key contributors to the surge in activity.
These latest figures from Barbour also revealed the total value of commercial and retail contracts awarded in January was £823m – a 22.7% increase on January 2014.