Construction still in doldrums

2 February 2010

2 February 2010 | Jake Kanter

Activity in UK construction remained weaker than any other sector last month, according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

The CIPS/Markit Construction PMI registered 48.6 in January, where a figure below 50 represents contraction. Although the industry was in decline, activity fell at a slower rate than the 47.1 posted in December.

Growth in housing activity recoiled sharply, falling from 58.9 in December to reach 52.9 last month. There was also continued decline in commercial and civil engineering, albeit at a slower rate than in December.

New orders and staff numbers also fell, along with input prices. In contrast, future business expectations continued to soar, with optimism pinned on future economic growth.

CIPS chief executive David Noble said: “Construction continues to be the worst performing sector of the UK economy, struggling in the face of credit supply shortages and overall economic uncertainty. Purchasing managers said the widespread chaos caused by the snow in January didn’t help an already fragile industry, with new orders disappointingly low.”

Further coverage of PMI reports is available here.

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