Industry confidence still low due to ongoing EU uncertainty, according to the latest IHS Markit/CIPS construction PMI

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Construction output has grown at its strongest rate since July with activity increasing across the board, new figures say.

According to the latest IHS Markit/CIPS construction PMI, there was a solid expansion of UK construction output in November, which was supported by an upturn in the three sub-categories of activity monitored by the survey.

Data showed the index score for November was 53.4, up from 53.2 in October, to remain above the crucial 50.0 no-change mark for the eighth successive month.

Growth of new work also picked up since October and rising client demand prompted the fastest rate of job creation since December 2015.

Residential building was the fastest growing area of construction work in November, with the latest rise in house building activity being the strongest in three months.

The data also showed sustained increases in commercial work and civil engineering activity.

Despite this business confidence remained relatively subdued, with survey respondents noting that Brexit-related concerns had weighed on their growth projections for the next 12 months.

Tim Moore, economics associate director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said: “Business confidence regarding the year ahead outlook for construction work picked up from October’s recent low, but remained weaker than seen on average in the first half of 2018.

“Survey respondents widely commented that Brexit-related uncertainty had held back business optimism in November.”

Phil Harris, director at BLP Insurance, reiterated the impact of Brexit, saying the positive trend in terms of output “seems somewhat irrelevant for the construction sector against the backdrop of the upcoming parliamentary vote on Brexit on 11 December”.