The UK Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) for the construction sector signalled a surprise rise, but showed a long term pessimism on the future of the sector.
As housing activity fell, there was growth in the commercial and civil engineering sub-sectors, but jobs were cut at a marked pace.
The data at 53.8 showed a rise from August's 52.1, but with job cuts at the fastest pace in six months, the sector was short on hope.
David Noble, CEO of CIPS said: "Whilst the construction sector is still growing, a sharp fall in confidence suggests work in the pipeline may not be so strong. Not since the onset of the recession have we seen optimism in such short supply.
"Commercial and civil engineering activity was on the up and contributed to overall growth. However, this may only be a temporary reprieve - once the last of the public sector budget has been exhausted it is likely that we will see a negative impact from the inevitable cuts.
"Meanwhile, firms continue to nervously reassess their sourcing requirements, suggesting that staffing costs will be squeezed for the foreseeable future."
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