Before our lives were changed in March, the UK construction industry was experiencing a period of optimism, with many reporting relatively strong pipelines across broad ranges of markets.
Okay, we're in the middle of a devastating period, with many firm's short term priorities changing to fire fighting and even survival. Putting this into context, 34% of work that was under construction in the UK has been suspended.
However, Glenigan's, typically used as a reliable barometer for our industry, pointed towards a high level of planning approvals in March, especially when comparing against figures from last year.
This mirrors several conversations I have held over the past month with leaders within the industry. If their forecasting is correct, this will have a positive impact on the whole industry, from raw material suppliers, building product manufacturers, through to service operators.
The below article points towards the need for investor confidence on the private side. My opinion is that the situation we find ourselves in now is very different to previous downturns - this is a global pandemic. During the dip of the previous two years this was attributed to the UK negotiating our way out of Europe. Likewise, what we witnessed in 2008 was a very different scenario.
Positively, Glenigan's report points towards increased approvals across a myriad of markets, from education to social housing, health to community projects. And then. of course, there is the promise of increased spending across infrastructure.
Come on Great Britain, every day we struggle on is another day closer.
A peak in planning approvals last month is raising the hope that new-build work could recover quite quickly after the coronavirus crisis.