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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