Construction sector expands again
Tuesday 02 August 2011
Britain's construction sector expanded again in July with improved confidence and new orders, though employment fell for the second successive month.
The construction purchasing managers' index dropped to 53.5 in July from 53.6 in June, according to the survey from Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, but any figure above 50 indicates activity increasing.
Confidence among the country's builders also improved after hitting a six-month low in June with more firms optimistic they would be busier over the next year, but the degree of confidence is still weak compared to the past, Markit said. New business rose for the 17th successive month.
Sarah Bingham, economist at the research firm, added: "The subdued level of confidence regarding future business expectations reflects the challenging outlook for the UK economy, and therefore the construction sector."
The fall in employment largely reflected firms not replacing staff, Markit added, though there were some redundancies.
Economists welcomed the data, which followed recent official figures showing a return to growth of 0.5% in the three months to June after two quarters of shrinking output.
Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, said the expansion at a similar pace in July to June was a "relief", though he added the sector is hardly storming ahead and "clearly faces a challenging environment". Construction makes up 6% of the UK's GDP.
David Noble, CIPS' chief executive said: "A continued rise in new orders suggests that activity should be supported in the near-term, but confidence regarding potential activity growth for the next year remains relatively subdued.
"Subsequently, firms are purchasing only to meet current requirements and remain cautious about replacing leaving staff, as the general mood remains uncertain."
Civil engineers saw the sharpest increase in activity over the past month, the survey revealed, while residential construction contracted for a second month due to the weak housing market.
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
- 1 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
iJobs Money & Business
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...
£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...
£25000 - £37000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you seeking to furth...