Construction companies record a fall in activity for the eighth month in a row

Construction slowdown continues as election extends uncertainty

Construction companies recorded a fall in activity for the eighth month in a row in November, according to the latest PMI (purchasing managers' index) data.

The headline seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK construction total activity index rose to 45.3 in November (October: 44.2), the slowest drop in overall construction output for four months.

Despite this, business activity continues to fall — a figure below 50 indicates an overall decrease compared with the previous month — with commercial building the second-worst performing category after civil engineering. 

Industry figures suggested that the current political uncertainty was one of the causes.

Jessica Levy, director of communications at the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “Whoever forms the new government needs to give some much-needed confidence and certainty to this vital industry…

“Housebuilding, which forms a major part of the construction industry, should become a national infrastructure priority for the new government.” 

Tim Moore, economics associate director at IHS Markit, added: “Brexit uncertainty and the forthcoming general election continued to send a chill breeze across the sector.”



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