The UK Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) for the construction sector shows the lowest confidence in future business outlook since April 2009.
As the UK construction sector returns to contraction at 49.3 down from last month's 50.9, employment levels drop at fastest pace since December 2010.
David Noble, CIPS CEO commented: "Parallels to darker days of the economic crisis can be seen in the construction sector, which is under pressure from all sides. Businesses are now set for a bitter end to 2012, with little hope of respite in the New Year. Jobs have been slashed in response to the fastest fall in new orders for over three-and-a-half years confirming the sector's return to contraction and the lowest level of confidence seen since the height of the economic crisis in 2008.
"House building continues to witness falling levels of activity, and the commercial sector, the shining light of construction earlier this year, is contracting at the fastest pace since late 2009. Civil engineering continues to be the one slither of growth in the sector.
"To add insult to injury, input price inflation eased only marginally from the ten-month high in October, courtesy of high fuel and energy costs, leaving the sector in a difficult place as it searches for relief ahead of 2013."
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