UK construction activity remains weak

Output in the UK construction sector rose fractionally in October, according to the Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index.

The latest issue of the Index rose to 50.9 from 49.5 in September it’s the 50 mark that indicates growth as opposed to contraction.

But new construction orders fell for a fifth consecutive month and firms cut jobs at the fastest rate since August 2011.

Markit economist Tim Moore said that the bigger picture remains bleak.

Within the construction sector, only civil engineering saw growth in October, a second consecutive monthly rise.

Residential building activity was the weakest performing sub-sector, with output declining for the fifth successive month. Commercial activity also dropped in October.

David Noble, CIPS chief executive, said: “”Despite marginal growth in October, the prospects for the construction sector are bleak as firms prepare for the worst.

“There is contagion right along the supply chain with rising fuel and energy costs and lengthening delivery times ensuring there is little hope of respite in the immediate future. All of this compounds the imminent threat of budget cuts in 2013.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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