Construction PMI index beats forecast

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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Construction growth rates held firm in July as construction purchasing managers reported steady expansion.

Latest results for the Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI index showed a July figure of 53.5 compared to 53.6 in June.

Any reading above 50 represents a rise in activity and the index posted growth for the seventh month in succession.

The figure was higher than expected with economists predicting a fall to nearer 53.

David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said: “It’s a case of ‘as you were’ for the UK construction sector this month with little change in the rate of activity growth since June.

“Whilst the sector is battling against poor economic sentiment, high inflation and continued worries in the Eurozone, the sustained growth, albeit at a historically mild pace, has to be seen as a positive, especially compared to the fallback in the manufacturing sector.

“A continued rise in new orders suggests that activity should be supported in the near-term, but confidence regarding potential activity growth for the next year remains relatively subdued.

“Subsequently, firms are purchasing only to meet current requirements and remain cautious about replacing leaving staff, as the general mood remains uncertain.”

Markit economist Sarah Bingham said: “Rates of growth for both new orders and activity were solid, but remained below long-run trends.

“Furthermore, employment fell for a second month running.

“The subdued level of confidence regarding future business expectations reflects the challenging outlook for the UK economy, and therefore the construction sector.”

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