UK October construction PMI 53.1 vs 55.0 expected

Author: Justin Low | Category: News

Latest data released by Markit/CIPS - 5 November 2020

Construction output fell to the weakest since June, with house building and construction activity reflecting a rise but civil engineering activity fell for a third straight month.

The boost from pent-up demand is still leading to better housing activity overall but that may hit a stall as fresh lockdown measures are introduced in November.

Markit notes that:

"The construction sector was a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy month for the UK economy during October. Another sharp rise in house building helped to keep the construction recovery on track, albeit at a slower speed than in the third quarter of 2020. Commercial work also contributed to growth in the construction sector, while civil engineering remained the main area of concern as activity in this category dropped for the third month running.

"Supply chain difficulties persisted in October, as signalled by a sharp lengthening of delivery times for construction products and materials. Purchasing prices increased as a result of demand outstripping supply for construction inputs, with the rate of cost inflation hitting an 18-month high in October.

"New orders improved at the sharpest rate for nearly five years in October, suggesting a positive near-term outlook for construction activity. However, survey respondents commented on renewed economic uncertainty and concerns about the sustainability of the recovery as pent up demand begins to wane."
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