Latest data released by Markit - 6 August 2020

The decline in construction activity eases in July but there are some positives and negatives to weigh in the report. Homebuilding rose on the month and that helped to cushion the further drop in commercial and civil engineering activity.

Meanwhile, employment dropped once again but the pace of job losses slowed for a third month in a row to its smallest decline during the virus crisis.

Markit notes that:

"The PMI data suggest that the constructor sector is yet to escape from its recent slump, although there are some signs of improvement in the detail. The residential building sector looks to be more resilient to the troubles being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with housing activity returning to growth in July and helping to at least partially offset the subdued trends in both commercial and civil engineering activity.

"Although the heightened levels of uncertainty remained a dampener on inflows of new orders at constructors, the decline did at least show signs of easing, which was in turn reflected in a further moderation in the pace of job cuts. However, construction companies still believe that difficult times lie ahead, with the current climate not exactly conducive to investment, particularly across the business sector."