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Financial News: UK Construction Activity Shrinks At Slower Pace

UK Construction Activity Shrinks At Slower Pace

02/06/2024 - 07:51:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK construction activity contracted at a slower pace in January as business optimism reached a two-year high, survey results from S&P Global showed on Tuesday.

The construction Purchasing Managers' Index posted 48.8 in January, up from 46.8 in the previous month.

The index remained below the neutral 50.0 threshold for the fifth consecutive month, signaling a moderate decrease in total activity.

The survey showed that civil engineering was the best performer in January with output moving close to stabilization. Commercial activity also showed some resilience with the index signaling a marginal rate of decline.

On the other hand, house building declined sharply due to subdued demand conditions and a lack of work to replace completed projects.

There was a reduction in total new work but the pace of decline was only marginal. Despite subdued order books, business optimism rose to the highest since January 2022.

Firms were cautious about staff hiring in January. Demand for inputs softened due to weak demand. Meanwhile, suppliers' lead times shortened again.

Data showed a renewed increase in purchasing prices after falling for three months. Input costs grew the most since May 2023. Some firms commented on higher prices paid for imported items amid rising shipping costs.

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