Construction sector enjoys eight months of growth in a row
THE construction industry increased output to a four-month high in November with a purchasing managers’ index (PMI) reading of 53.4 in November, up from 53.2 in October.
November was the eighth month in a row of expansion for the industry and the fastest month of growth since July. It was led by house building, although civil and commercial projects also increased. Although Brexit affected the mood of firms, optimism still rose to the highest level for three months, from a six-month low in October.
Overall, client demand rose but IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, reported some anecdotal evidence of new orders and public sector spending being put on hold as customers waited for a clearer outcome on Brexit.
The number of people employed in the industry grew as business activity increased, at the fastest rate since December 2015.
Tim Moore, economics associate director at IHS Markit, said: “November data indicates that the UK construction sector remains in expansion mode, with resilient business activity trends seen for housing, commercial and civil engineering activity.
“The latest overall rise in construction output was the fastest since July, helped by a stronger contribution to growth from house building activity.”
But Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, said there was reason to be cautious about the positive results.
“Before the champagne corks start popping, this rise in the overall index was small,” he said. “Even with optimism at a three-month high, there is currently no indication that this will become a sustained rise as we approach the end of the year.”