THE UK construction sector showed only marginal growth in February amid “entrenched political uncertainty”, as a soft patch for housebuilding continued and civil engineering activity fell, a key survey shows.
Commercial property construction was the bright spot in the sector, recording its fastest increase in activity since May last year.
The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply’s purchasing managers’ index edged up from 50.2 in January to 51.4 last month on a seasonally-adjusted basis.
This took it further above the level of 50 deemed to separate expansion from contraction but the February reading nevertheless signals only slight growth.
The UK construction sector’s new business volumes fell in February, the survey shows.
Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club think-tank, said: “The purchasing managers’ survey indicates that the construction sector is having a lacklustre start to 2018.”
He added: “February’s reading was still only slightly above the 50 level that indicates flat activity.”
Tim Moore, associate director at IHS Markit and author of the construction survey, said: “The construction sector endured another difficult month during February, with fragile business confidence, entrenched political uncertainty and softer housing market conditions all factors keeping growth in the slow lane.
“Residential work appears on track to experience its weakest quarter since Q3 2016, suggesting that housebuilding is losing its status as the main engine of construction growth.”
Source: Herald Scotland