Latest PMI survey finds slowdown in civil engineering activity has tempered industry growth


A slowdown in growth of civil engineering activity dragged down the rate of growth across the construction industry to its slowest rate since October 2013 last month, data from Markit/CIPS published today reveals.

The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers index, which measures the rate of increase or decrease in the activity of purchasing managers, fell to a score of 59.4 in November, down from 61.4 in October, its lowest rating since October 2013.

However, the index remained above the 50 point mark that separates expansion from contraction

The survey found expansion in civil engineering activity in November was the weakest since July 2013 and it also found house building and commercial construction activity both expanded at their slowest rates since October 2013.

Markit said the results did however show “resilient and strong job creation across the construction sector” despite “softer rates of output”.

It also found that costs continued to rise “sharply” in November. It added: “Survey respondents generally commented on strengthening demand for construction materials and pressures on capacity at suppliers.”

But the survey found firms were generally optimistic about the future of the construction market and that anecdotal evidence suggested there was “improving underlying demand, strong pipelines of residential building projects and a general rise in new invitations to tender across the UK regions”.