COVID-19 will cause North America construction output to fall by $122.4 billion in 2020, says GlobalData

Special to Ontario Construction News

Amid the rapid decline in demand for new projects and safety regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction output in North America is now anticipated to fall by 6.6% in 2020, which is equivalent to $122.4 billion, and down sharply from the previously expected rise of 0.6% prior to the outbreak (+$12 billion), according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

“Canada is projected to see the steepest decline in output (7%) owed in part to the collapse in global oil prices, while construction output in the US is projected to decrease by 6.5%,” GlobalData economist Dariana Tani said in a statement.

“Even though in most parts of the US and Canada all construction sites are allowed to carry on with their operations, an increasing number of projects in the bidding or final planning stages are being delayed or cancelled due to the uncertainty surrounding the economy as well as concerns that construction workers are being exposed to the virus.

“Moreover, the closure of businesses across the region thanks to the enforced stay-at-home measures and the resulting surge in unemployment levels could see real GDP plunging by as much as 6.2% in Canada and 5% in the US this year,” she said.

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