According to the latest RICS Global Construction Monitor for Q2 2020, construction activity contracted across all region in Q2 due to the lockdowns to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the impact of social distancing on jobsite activity. It is estimated that during Q2, onsite productivity dropped by -12% and approximately 25% of all projects were halted. On top of that it is anticipated that cost escalations over the next year will put additional pressures on the markets. According to RICS’ Global Construction Activity Index, a measure of current and expected construction market conditions among construction professionals read -24 in Q2, highlighting both the hit to activity, and a subdued outlook. While this measure was negative across regions, it was lowest in the Middle East and Africa (-40), and highest in the Americas (-14). For projects that continue, social distancing and health and safety precautions will restrict activity. Professionals in the sector expect onsite construction productivity to contract 11.7% globally, although there is some variation. While respondents in Singapore expect a 26% pullback, European markets broadly expect to see a single digit decline in productivity, as do respondents in China, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
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