Construction treads water in January

Grant Prior 4 months ago
Share

Construction buyers reported a subdued start to the year as industry output just clung to positive territory.

The Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index for January fell to 50.2 from 52.2 in December.

Anything above 50 represents growth but January’s figures was the slowest increase for four months.

Residential work dipped slightly while commercial and civil engineering stood still.

Confidence in future prospects increased with many firms expecting an increase in new business wins later in the year.

Sam Teague, economist and author of the report said:“January’s PMI data indicated a difficult start to 2018 for the UK’s construction sector,underlined by business activity growth slumping to a four-month low and new orders sliding back into decline.

“A contraction in house building added to lacklustre commercial building and civil engineering markets,and reduced inflows of new work suggest overall activity could slip into decline in February.

“Furthermore, cost pressures remained intense, fuelled by shortages of input materials and high costs for imported products.

“Survey respondents reported increased hesitance among clients to invest in new projects amid heightened concerns over the UK economic outlook.

“Encouragingly, however, firms generally expect things to improve later in the year.

Constructors’ optimism towards future growth prospects reached a seven-month high.

“Many forecasted that the soft patch in construction demand would be short-lived and new project wins would pick up throughout the year, though this will inevitably depend on how Brexit negotiations play out.

“Despite the upturn, optimism remains worryingly low by historical standards.”

Latest news

Morrison Utility changes private equity owners

European private equity firm takes control of £1bn infrastructure services group
3 hours ago

Liverpool to launch plans for business district expansion

Council promises to tackle looming shortage of available office space
3 hours ago

Skanska signs £141m landmark Knightsbridge rebuild

Keltbray starts piling work after complex site clearance job
3 days ago

Bank launches £100m loan fund to help Hinkley suppliers

Lloyds keen to give construction companies a leg-up onto nuclear supply chain
3 hours ago

Homes for England launches consultants framework

Homes England to start bid race for major multi-disciplinary framework by end of May
2 hours ago

Wates Living Space looking for new subcontractors

Specialists invited to Meet the Buyer event: Register now
3 hours ago

Boost your online presence – join the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
3 weeks ago

Contractor saved after being sunk by the “Carillion effect”

Directors buy Blue Square Building out of administration saving 100 jobs
3 days ago

Birmingham puts firms on alert for £2bn framework

Balfour Beatty, Bouygues, Morgan Sindall and Willmott Dixon face fight to renew places
3 days ago

Watkin Jones to start £68m Reading build to rent scheme

M&G and Lochailort forward fund 315-flat Thames Quarter high-rise project
3 days ago

Government to consult on banning combustible cladding

Government bows to pressure from public, industry and MPs
4 days ago

Caddick’s £300m Leeds SOYO scheme approved

Work to start later this year on 515-home New York Square first phase
4 days ago

Unite property director takes helm at Watkin Jones

Richard Simpson to take over from Mark Watkin at the start of 2019
3 days ago

Green light for £56m Warrington private rental scheme

High Street Group prepares to start another PRS scheme in £340m pipeline
3 days ago

ISG wins two Edinburgh hotel builds worth £40m-plus

Hospitality sector expertise books Premier Inn and Yotel projects
4 days ago

Seddon sets up mental health hotline for staff

Tragic suicide of young painter inspires new campaign across the company
4 days ago

Combustible cladding escapes ban in Hackitt Report

Post-Grenfell report calls for CDM-style chain of responsibility policed by new regulatory body
4 days ago

Trio net £1.3bn Clyde submarine base framework

VolkerStevin, Kier Graham Defence and Morgan Sindall secure 10-year work programme
4 days ago

Theresa May pledges £400m to strip Grenfell-type cladding

Government will pay for retrofit work on 158 tower blocks
5 days ago

Retiring Van Elle boss sells shares for £4.8m

Outgoing chief executive Jon Fenton sell 7% stake in AIM-listed piling group
4 days ago

British Land braced for jump in construction costs

Developer expecting build inflation of 3-4% next year
4 days ago

Countryside to open modular panel timber frame factory

Mixed tenure partnerships division now bigger than private house building
4 days ago

North Midland launches development arm

Strong start to year but problem Telecoms division continues to dog results
4 days ago

Global tunnel expert to head HS2 Align JV team

Bouygues, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick appoint new leader for £965m contract
4 days ago

Scaffolder hit by 500kg bridge panel during demolition

Court hears how victim left with multiple injuries after demolition job went wrong
5 days ago

London Mayor pledges to build 10,000 council houses

New fund set up to kick-start council house building in the capital
5 days ago

Russells wins second office refit at NOMA site

Work starts on Dantzic warehouse conversion to offices in Manchester
5 days ago

Carillion’s board savaged for recklessness, hubris and greed

Watchdog MPs single out Richard Adam, Richard Howson and Philip Green
5 days ago

Carillion probe MPs call to break-up hold of Big Four accountants

Pension and Financial Reporting Regulators slammed as too timid in challenging bosses and bean counters
5 days ago

Graham / Hochtief JV set for Brent Cross infrastructure deal

Works will pave the way for £1.4bn shopping centre revamp
5 days ago

Contractor services