UK August construction PMI 54.6 vs 58.3 expected

Author: Justin Low | Category: News

Latest data released by Markit/CIPS - 4 September 2020


The recovery in the UK construction sector slowed a little in August, with civil engineering work slumping back into contraction territory while both commercial and home building activity slowed as the rebound loses some momentum.

The bright side is that business expectations continue to improve, rising to a six-month high, but it remains to be seen how well such optimism can hold up as we move towards the end of the government's furlough program and Brexit closure.
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Markit notes that:

"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. House building remained the bestperforming area of construction activity, with strong growth helping to offset some of the weakness seen in commercial work and civil engineering activity. The main reason for the slowdown in total construction output growth was a reduced degree of catch-up on delayed projects and subsequent shortages of new work to replace completed contracts in August.

"Another month of widespread job shedding highlighted the ongoing difficulties faced by UK construction companies, with order books often depleted due to a slump in demand from sectors of the economy that have experienced the greatest impact from the pandemic.

"More positively for the employment outlook, business expectations climbed to a six-month high in August as construction firms turned their hopes towards a boost from major infrastructure work and reorienting their sales focus on new areas of growth in the coming 12 months."

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