The IHS Markit/CIPS Construction PMI, released today, shows that construction activity declined for the first time in 11 months in February.
The IHS Markit/CIPS Construction PMI, released today, shows that construction activity declined for the first time in 11 months in February due to a dip in commercial and civil engineering work, though housebuilding activity increased.
Responding to the data, Jonathan White, UK head of infrastructure, building and construction at KPMG, said:
“Construction firms have their heads down in contingency planning for every outcome, but what this means for the long-term health of the sector is uncertain. It seems as though many businesses are in defensive mode and do not have the confidence or clarity to make future plans.
“Liquidity appears to be increasingly tight – an indicator that times are tough. The continued slump in commercial work isn’t a surprise as clients are cautious and often reluctant to press ahead with large-scale projects. This is unlikely to change in the near term, so the effect on order books will continue to be malign.
“Housebuilding is still under the spotlight but it’s encouraging to see an uptick in momentum. It remains one of the key drivers of activity given build-rate targets and the ongoing effect of demand-side initiatives like Help To Buy. It’s likely housebuilding will continue to provide a robust foundation for growth for the wider sector.”
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KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 16,300 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.338 billion in the year ended 30 September 2018. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 154 countries and has 200,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.