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Financial News: UK Construction Sector Growth Slows In August

UK Construction Sector Growth Slows In August

09/04/2020 - 05:08:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK construction sector growth moderated in August from a near five-year high largely due to the lack of new work to replace completed contracts, survey results from IHS Markit showed Friday.

The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply construction Purchasing Managers' Index fell unexpectedly to 54.6 in August from 58.1 in July. The score was forecast to climb to 58.5. Nonetheless, a score above 50 indicates expansion.

"The latest PMI data signalled a setback for the UK construction sector as the speed of recovery lost momentum for the first time since the reopening phase began in May," Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit, said.

House building registered the strongest rebound since the stoppages of work on site in late-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Commercial work expanded, while civil engineering activity contracted in August.

Total new business volumes increased for the third month but the pace of expansion moderated from July. Construction companies noted that economic uncertainty and a wait-and-see approach among clients had limited their opportunities to secure new work. Subdued order books held back output growth in August. Further, supply chain disruption persisted across the construction sector.

Despite reporting subdued new business intakes, construction companies reported an improvement in their business expectations for the year ahead.

However, an expected rise in business activity could not prevent a further drop in staffing numbers. The rate of job shedding eased only slightly since July.

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