Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply reports robust activity for last month, although it is down from October's high

Construction activity remained robust in November although it fell slightly from last month's high, according to the latest report from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

Total construction activity fell to 54.8 from October’s 18-month high of 58.1. The sector continued to grow, but at slower rate than previously.

Volumes of new orders also reflected a slower rate of growth with the New Orders Index dropping to 53.8 from 57.3.

Levels of new orders and industry activity resulted in a further increase in purchasing volumes in November, although growth of input buying was only modest. The seasonally adjusted Quantity of Purchases Index posted 51.1, down from 54.0 in the previous month, signalling moderate growth of input buying volumes.

Subcontractor usage by UK construction firms fell for the first time in three months, and at the most marked rate since May. The seasonally adjusted Subcontractor Usage Index fell from 52.5 in October to 48.5 in November.

Roy Ayliffe, director of professional practice at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), said: “The construction sector recorded further strong growth in November, although at a slower rate than the exceptional 'high' in October. With input price inflation under control and demand being driven by solid growth in the housing sector, purchasing managers are optimistic for the future.”