All construction sectors saw growth in output in June 2020 compared with May 2020.
That's the extent of the good news, on the same day that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) report that, while the economy bounced back in June as government restrictions on movement started to ease, the UK is officially in recession for the first time since 2009.
Suffering its biggest slump on record between April and June, the UK economy shrank 20.4% compared to the first three months of the year.
How does the construction sector fare within those stats?
Alongside the UK wide report, the ONS also disclosed its findings related to construction output.
The good news is that monthly construction output grew by a record 23.5% in June 2020 (compared with 7.6% in May).
Sadly, but perhaps not surprising, that's the extent of the good news.
Monthly growth is low (24.8% below the February 2020 level) and quarterly output fell by a record 35% (in April to June).
The biggest contributors to the quarterly fall lay in new work and repair and maintenance works (which makes sense given the extent of lockdown during the period and large parts of the industry being closed).
The decrease in new work was largely contributed to by private new housing — again, which makes sense given what we saw happening (or not) as a result of lockdown.
If all of that isn't sobering enough, take a look at table 1 within the ONS report — the five largest falls in quarterly construction output growth since quarterly records began in 1997. Not only is the -35% the first double digit drop, it's almost seven times the next largest drop of 7.1% during the 2008/2009 economic downturn.
At this point, I question the purpose of me sharing what many would say we already know (even if just from our own business experience), particularly when the news is also gloomy.
I think there is some benefit, however, in what we see anecdotally being measured, and to recognise that we do still all remain in this together.
Anecdotal evidence from responders to both BICS and the MBS suggests a continued increase in activity in the construction sector, though not equally across all construction sectors and all UK regions. Social distancing measures meant where businesses were working on premises and sites, the capacity and level of output were not at the same levels of work experienced prior to the coronavirus pandemic.