Construction buyers report slow start to 2019

Grant Prior 3 weeks ago
Share

Construction buyers have reported a slow start to the new year with business growth slowing to its lowest level for ten months in January.

The latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index dropped to 50.6 in January, from 52.8 in December.

Residential work was the strongest performing area, although the latest expansion was only modest and the slowest seen since March 2018.

Civil engineering activity increased marginally, with the rate of growth much softer than December’s 19-month high.

Commercial work was the weakest performing area of construction output in January as data indicated a decline in work on commercial construction projects for the first time in ten months.

Anecdotal evidence suggested that Brexit-related anxiety and associated concerns about the domestic economic outlook continued to weigh on client demand.

Construction firms still remain positive about the outlook for this year with 41% expecting a rise in output while only 16% forecast a fall.

Large-scale civil engineering projects were cited as a key source of optimism, while and Brexit uncertainty was the most commonly cited concern.

Tim Moore, Economics Associate Director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey said: “UK construction growth shifted down a gear at the start of 2019, with weaker conditions signalled across all three main categories of activity.

“Commercial work declined for the first time in ten months as concerns about the domestic economic outlook continued to hold back activity.

“The latest survey also revealed a loss of momentum for house building and civil engineering, although these areas of the construction sector at least remained on a modest growth path.

“Staff recruitment slowed to a crawl in January, with construction firms reporting the softest rate of job creation since July 2016.

“Delays to client decision-making on new projects in response to Brexit uncertainty was cited as a key source of anxiety at the start of 2019.

“Difficulties converting opportunities to sales were reflected in a slowdown in total new business growth to its lowest since last May.

“Business expectations for the year ahead slipped to a three-month low and remained subdued in comparison to historic trends in January.

“Positive sentiment towards the outlook for civil engineering work remains a key factor helping to support business sentiment across the construction sector, according to survey respondents.”

Latest news

Interserve looks at rival plan B as crunch meeting looms

Lenders put Ernst & Young on alert in case survival plans rejected
2 hours ago

JCB wins Manitou injunction in patent battle

Manitou blocked from selling telehandlers with JCB patented control
3 hours ago

Morgan Sindall targets £70m daily net cash in 2019

John Morgan boosts balance sheet as contracting model changes
1 day ago

Engie secures ex-Carillion £1.3bn hospital hard FM deal

Firm takes on remaining 22-year FM deal under Portsmouth hospital PFI
1 day ago

Red light zones around machines to keep Colas workers safe

Contractor keen to share latest highways safety innovation with rest of the industry
1 day ago

Kingspan sales hit by Brexit uncertainty

Building materials giant flags up concerns as country remains "politically hamstrung"
1 day ago

Demolition starts at Moda’s £120m Glasgow build-to-rent site

Former Strathclyde Police HQ to be demolished for building start before end of 2019
1 day ago

Graham clinches £13m Essex viaduct

Contractor is now working up designs for the Chelmsford East Beaulieu Radial Distributor Road
1 day ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
10 months ago

Morgan Sindall construction margin tops 2%

Profit jumps 24% to £81m as revenue reaches £3bn
2 days ago

Norfolk contractor Chalcroft facing liquidation

Regional builder trying to avoid "collateral damage" to suppliers
2 days ago

£200m Port of Tilbury expansion plan approved

Graham Construction is tipped to take Essex port expansion job
2 days ago

BAM UK profit margin rises to 3%

UK operations contributed more to Royal BAM profit than any other region
3 days ago

Bouygues signs off East London town hall deal for £110m

Around 500 workers on site at peak periods.
2 days ago

Barhale buys Scottish traffic sign supplier

Purchase of Fleming & Co. (Machinery) takes construction supplies arm into Scotland
2 days ago

York City stadium hit by delays

Club confirm construction will not be complete in time for new season
2 days ago

Erith lands basement package at Paddington Cube

Specialist continues on £350m site after completing demolition works
2 days ago

Intu to build flats and hotels at shopping centres

5,000 homes and 600 hotel rooms could be built at retail sites
3 days ago

Luxury developer Consero to build £50m Bushey scheme

Up-market housing specialist continues expansion in home counties
3 days ago

Outsourcing revamp sees Government shoulder more risk

New playbook to reboot outsourcing pushes for fairer risk transfer and living wills
3 days ago

Scotland halves project bank account threshold

Scottish Government praised as projects threshold cut to £2m for building and £5m for civils jobs
3 days ago

Construction T levels under threat from lack of teachers

College leaders warn lack of funding could derail new training initiative
3 days ago

Quicker CSCS skills cards as applications move online

Application process going online to end need to deal with call centre
3 days ago

Caledonian wins two offsite school jobs for £38m

Essex and Somerset schools swell order book at volumetric specialist
3 days ago

McAleer & Rushe gets go-ahead for two Maldron hotels

New Birmingham and Glasgow hotels will cost £85m to build
4 days ago

O’Rourke finally seals UK construction finance deal

Latest accounts reveal pre-tax losses of £43.6m
4 days ago

Two Portsmouth ‘Grenfell’ tower blocks to be torn down

City council to decide fate of 18-storey blocks of flats after weak concrete uncovered
4 days ago

60 jobs axed as Leicester M&E specialist collapses

East Midlands Electrical Installations enters administration
4 days ago

Telford Homes to start 260 London rental homes scheme

House builder forward funds £100m Equipment Works scheme in Walthamstow
4 days ago

April start for Balfour £55m Plymouth link road

Forder Valley Link Road project given £22m of Government funding
5 days ago

Contractor services