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Financial News: UK Construction Sector Shrinks For First Time In

UK Construction Sector Shrinks For First Time In 18 Months

08/04/2022 - 06:33:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK construction sector contracted for the first time in one-and-a-half-years in July, survey results from S&P Global showed on Thursday.

The construction Purchasing Managers' Index posted 48.9 in July, down from 52.6 in June. The reading was expected to fall moderately to 52.0.

The index fell below the 50.0 threshold for the first time since January 2021. Moreover, the rate of contraction was the fastest since May 2020.

Civil engineering was the worst-performing segment in July. House building also shrank in July but the rate of contraction was only slight. Commercial work bucked the downturn seen elsewhere, although growth was the weakest for 18 months.

There was an overall rise in new orders for the twenty-sixth consecutive month. Employment numbers increased at faster pace. Many companies reported difficulties in filling vacancies and strong wage pressures.

The survey showed a considerable fall in purchase price inflation, with the latest rise in cost burdens the least marked since March 2021.

Purchasing activity expanded at the weakest pace since January 2021. Business optimism remained subdued across the sector. That said, the degree of positive sentiment picked up slightly from June's 23-month low.

Tim Moore, economics director at S&P Global Market Intelligence said "July data illustrated that cost of living pressures, higher interest rates and increasing recession risks for the UK economy are taking a toll on construction activity."

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