Purchasing index for August shows smallest fall for 18 months, although all sub-sectors still in decline

The rate of decline within the UK construction industry last month was the slowest for 18 months, new figures from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) reveal.

The seasonally adjusted CIPS/Markit Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) posted 47.7 in August, up slightly from July's 47. A figure of 50 is neutral, displaying neither growth nor contraction.

Nonetheless, there was a solid fall in activity in all three sub-sectors of the construction industry: housing, civil engineering and commercial.

The rate of decline in the commercial sector was marginal, but decline within the housing sub-sector eased markedly, while the fall in civil engineering activity worsened during the month.

Purchasing activity continued to fall in August, although the rate of decline eased marginally since July.