UK construction declines for fifth straight month

UK construction declines for fifth straight month
Published: 05 April 2013

Tagged Under: UK Construction 

UK construction sector shrank for the fifth consecutive month in March but expectations for the sector have improved.

Markit’s latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for constructors came in at 47.2 last month – up from 46.8 in February, but still below the 50 mark that indicates no change. Eight of the last 10 months have seen activity of the construction industry decline, the data shows.

“The construction sector seems to have a spring in its step as confidence hit its highest level in a year despite the challenging state of the weather, performance and output in March,” commented David Noble, of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS), which helps compile the data.

Activity in the housing sector has grown, with its survey score edging up to 50.8 in March from 50.4 in February. Yet commercial construction activity (at 46.2) and civil engineering (at 42) remain in decline.

“While the government’s focus on housing appears to have had a positive effect as it out performed other sectors, civil engineering is a different story. Here the lack of public spending has resulted in the fastest rate of contraction since October 2009,” Noble added.