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UK construction sector takes another hit

Zoom  Zoom Issue Date:2012-07-24   Source: PUWORLD   Browse:609

The UK construction sector came under more pressure last month, according to a survey which revealed a further decline in business activity.

The Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) registered 48.6 in June, down from 54.4 in May, a figure which indicates the fastest rate of contraction for more than two years.

Many of the more than 170 companies polled for the survey pointed to the double Bank Holiday in June as being partly to blame, but firms also referred to what Markit called “weaker underlying conditions” and “worsening economic conditions”.

Civil engineering and housing activity were the worst performers, seeing a drop in output for the first time since weather-hit January.

Encouragingly the survey found that “on balance” construction firms expected an increase in business activity over the next 12 months, although the level of positive sentiment “remained well below the long-run survey average”.

Markit/CIPS said that reports from companies contributing to the survey “frequently cited concerns about the weakening business outlook as having dampened their forecasts for output over the year ahead”.

The snap-shot of UK construction followed another survey by Markit/CIPS which concluded that conditions in the country’s manufacturing sector remained “fragile”.

“June saw manufacturing production rise for the sixth time in seven months, but only following a solid contraction during May,” authors of the survey said.

The Markit/CIPS Manufacturing PMI rose to 48.6 in June, from 45.9 in May, but remained below the ‘neutral’ figure of 50.

Problems in the eurozone continued to hit new export orders last month, and overseas demand was reported by the survey to have fallen for the third month in a row, albeit by the least amount during the period.


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