Residential building and civil engineering are slowest growing sectors, CIPS figures say


Growth in the construction sector slowed last month according to figures compiled by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply and financial services firm Markit.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index fell from 55.8 in April to 54.4 in May. Although the sector continues to expand, it is doing so at its slowest rate for three months.

The report said that residential building and civil engineering were some of the slowest areas of growth in the last month.

David Noble, chief executive of CIPS, said: “Although still in growth, the marked weakening in new orders since March and April, particularly for larger civil engineering projects, suggests that the recent ramping up of employment in response to work-in-hand may not be sustained.

“With purchasing activity softening in response to weaker demand, suppliers of raw materials will be tempted to keep ever smaller inventories, meaning the response to any future pick-up in demand may be sluggish.”

The survey of purchasing managers also found the level of confidence about the next 12 months at its lowest since October 2011 and well below the average level of confidence since the economy entered recession in 2008.