Construction sector grinds to halt
Tuesday 04 October 2011
Britain's construction sector barely grew during September after new orders fell for the first time in 19 months, figures showed today.
The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers Index fell to 50.1, from 52.6 in August, a figure that indicates growth in the sector has all but ground to a halt.
Markit said a slowdown in new orders was behind the lower output and added that in some areas projects were also being cancelled or delayed because of weak client confidence.
Both housing and civil engineering output fell in September, according to the survey, though commercial output increased.
Sarah Bingham, an economist at Markit, said companies were relying on work on existing contracts to support output.
The Markit survey mirrors recent official Government figures that showed new orders fell by 16.3% in the second quarter of this year to their lowest level since 1980.
Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said September's performance was the weakest so far this year and adds to overall growth concerns, although construction activity only accounts for 6.3% of GDP.
He said that one ray of hope was the Government initiative to boost house building through a release of state-owned land under a "build now, pay later" scheme. Up to 100,000 new homes are expected to be built under the scheme.
Markit's survey showed residential house building declined for the fourth month running in September and at the fastest rate for nine months.
Government spending cutbacks also hit civil engineering construction work after school and hospital projects were scaled back.
There was a slight rise in construction employment in the month and input costs fell at the fastest rate for more than two and half years, but Markit said confidence for the future still remained subdued.
- 1 Rape threats, death threats and a police investigation after video poking fun at an Islamic Party in Malaysia goes viral
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 6-year-old writes ice cold Valentine's card to his stepmother
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
Rape threats, death threats and a police investigation after video poking fun at an Islamic Party in Malaysia goes viral
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Jeremy Clarkson to become 'special adviser on transport' to David Cameron
Exploding head syndrome: One-fifth of US college students suffer from ailment, study finds
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...
£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...