Number of new orders falls for first time in 19 months

Construction companies are facing a bleak future as growth in the sector slows to near-stagnation, according to a survey of purchasing managers.

The Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 50.1 in September, only fractionally above the 50 no-change threshold that separates expansion in construction activity from contraction.

The number of new orders received fell for the first time in 19 months, and respondents said opportunities to tender had decreased.

The housing and civil engineering sectors reported a reduction in output in September and residential construction continued to be the weakest performing category.