Kate Kirby, Construction & Infrastructure Partner at global legal business, DWF, comments on the CIPS/IHS Markit construction PMI figures for May 2020. She said:
"Today's figures unsurprisingly show a decrease in UK construction output in May. Despite some strong signs of recovery earlier in the year, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit hard. One of the biggest issues facing the sector, which has largely remained active during the Covid-19 pandemic, is the shortage of access to materials and appropriate subcontractors.
"There is a natural assumption that the sector would see a significant rise in claims and become very contentious, however, it seems generally relations between clients and their construction teams are very good and there is a willingness to act collaboratively to eliminate conflict and preserve commercial relations.
"There is clear support from the Government for the construction sector and they are actively looking to accelerate projects as part of the economic recovery plan. In a post–pandemic world, there will still be a requirement for more homes, urban regeneration, improved infrastructure, improved offices, retail space and more distribution facilities. We all know from past downturns that a robust construction sector will emerge but how and when, we just do not know. "