The December PMI results for UK construction have signalled a continued increase for the sector, extending the period of sustained expansion to twelve months.
All three sub-sectors registered growth of output in December with the growth of activity leading to an increase in both employment and new business.
The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) recorded 53.2 in December, up from 52.3 in November. Recordings above the 50 no-change threshold signify sector growth. The latest recording did signify marginal growth for all three sub-sectors, a first for nine months. However, confidence over future business prospects still remained subdued.
Commenting on the report, David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said: “Despite the overall growth in construction output and relatively milder weather conditions, December’s PMI painted a mixed picture and therefore little to raise the spirits.
Civil engineering was the star performer with strongest increase on the previous month but this must be viewed in the context of volatile activity flows at the end of the year, and it’s still too early to measure the impact of some of the big Government spending projects announced in the Autumn Review statement.
Overall expectations for the coming year continue to be skewed by wider economic uncertainties. Though there were modest increases in employment, it’s likely that many firms were hiring through necessity rather than optimism about any pick up in business in the next couple of months”.
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