• Prior 59.1

UK construction activity slows to the weakest so far this year as rising costs and economic uncertainty hit demand. Of note, growth projections eased to the lowest since September 2020. S&P Global notes that:

"The construction sector is moving towards a more subdued recovery phase as sharply rising energy and raw material costs hit client budgets. House building saw the greatest loss of momentum in April, with the latest expansion in activity the weakest since September 2021. Commercial and civil engineering work were the most resilient segments, supported by COVID-19 recovery spending and major infrastructure projects respectively.

"Construction companies have built up strong order books since the reopening of the UK economy, which led to another round of rising employment in April and these project starts should keep the sector in expansion mode during the remainder of the second quarter. "However, tender opportunities were less plentiful in April as rising inflation and higher borrowing costs started to bite. Consequently, longer-term growth projections have slumped from January's peak, with business optimism now the weakest since September 2020."