Activity increased across all sectors compared with March, and most of all in civil engineering. Tender prices are also still on the rise, but new orders are growing more slowly
The total activity index continued to improve in April, gaining two points over March’s figure at 58 points. Repair and maintenance activity, on the other hand, contracted for a third consecutive month, with the index losing four points to stand at 40, the lowest since May 2017.
Activity increased across all sectors, with the residential activity index gaining two points to 55, while the non-residential index gained four points to 63. The civil engineering index saw the biggest improvement, of 10 points, reaching a seven-month high of 66.
Both orders and tender inquiries remained in positive territory in April, despite slippage in their indices. The orders index dropped four points to return to its February figure of 67. The tender enquiries index ticked down by one point to 61.
Sectoral orders remained robust, though two sectors saw a drop in their indices. Both the residential orders index and the civil engineering index lost five points each, to 63 and 71 respectively. The non-residential orders index, however, remained unchanged at 79 points.
The tender enquiry indices suggest growth in all sectors for a fourth consecutive month. Civil engineering rose 18 points to 80; non-residential gained three points to 69. Residential, however, fell seven points back to its February level of 56.
Tender prices remained on the expansionary side, with the index gaining two points to 67, marking its 21st consecutive month above 60.
Employment prospects remained positive for the ninth month in a row. The index stayed steady at 55, the highest since November 2017.
The share of agents facing constraints in April decreased, with 29% reporting no constraints on activity, a five percentage point improvement on March. Insufficient demand was again the lead constraining factor, cited by 23% of respondents. Financial constraints came in next at 19%, rising from sixth to second most significant factor.
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