Survey reveals that construction market 'worsened rapidly' in July following severe decline in housing

Construction activity fell to a record low last month according to a survey of market trends.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing Managers study reported an overall index figure of 36.7 for July, which it described a “new series low”. A figure of below 50 indicates a fall in activity.

The report said: “Against a backdrop of deteriorating conditions in the housing market, ongoing tight credit availability, sharply rising input costs and a wider economic slowdown, overall operating conditions in the UK construction sector continued to worsen rapidly in July.”

It added: “By far the most noticeable fall was recorded in housing, where activity declined at a severe and unprecedented record pace. The index figure for housebuilding in July was 18.7.

There was further bad news in relation to energy and supply costs and the input prices index was 79.