Construction companies “upbeat” about growth prospects as survey shows output remains robust
UK construction remains in “rude health”, economists said on Tuesday, after a survey of the sector showed activity grew at a robust pace in October.
Markit said growth was driven by commercial building work, as activity at Britain’s housebuilders and civil engineering companies grew at a slower pace than the previous month.
While the Markit/CIPS construction PMI eased to 58.8 in October, from 59.9 in September, this was well above the 50 level that divides growth from contraction and was in line with economists’ expectations
The survey compiler said a bounce in new orders and the fastest pace of job creation for almost a year “highlighted another upturn in overall UK construction output”.
“Another relatively buoyant construction PMI reading indicates that the sector remains in rude health,” said Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit.
However, the PMI data contrast with recent official UK growth estimates covering previous months, which showed the sector contracted by 2.2pc in the third quarter, dragging down overal output growth by 0.1 percentage points over the period.
Markit said construction companies were “highly upbeat” about their growth prospects over the next year. More than half of businesses surveyed said said they expected activity to rise, compared with 7pc expecting a fall.