Struggling UK construction industry picks up in February

Business, UK News | Fri 2 Mar | Author – Business & Finance
property construction

The growth is led by the commercial sector but a survey found Brexit uncertainty still weighs heavy on order books.

The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) increased to 51.4 from 50.2 in January. During the final three months of 2017, construction endured its biggest drop for more than five years.

One of the main contributing factors to the decline was dip in consumer demand due to a rise in inflation after the Brexit referendum result.

Construction makes up almost 6% of the entire British economic output.

February’s PMI showed the sudden drop last month was a glitch and commercial construction was nearly at a nine-month high. However, civil engineering had its worst performance in five months.

Tim Moore, an Associate Director at IHS Markit, said that “with fragile business confidence, entrenched political uncertainty and softer housing market conditions” keep growth in the slow lane.

Duncan Brock, Director of Customer Relationships at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: “Overall, the only glimmer of hope through the masonry came from the commercial sector, with the strongest bounceback since May 2017 after languishing in the doldrums these past few months. And continued job creation was the biggest surprise as survey respondents may be preparing for stronger than expected work flows.”

Full data can be viewed here.