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Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI released for October

A rise in commercial building helps keep the construction industry growing.

The construction industry continued to experience strong growth in October according to the latest Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) figures.

UK construction’s PMI dropped to 58.8 in October, down from 59.9 in September, but still well above the growth threshold of 50 and marks two-and-a-half years of sustained output growth across the UK construction sector.

Housing activity was down from September’s high and the civil engineering sector also saw its slowest rate of growth since May.

Companies remain very optimistic about the potential for growth over the next 12 months, with 59% predicting a rise in business activity and only 7% anticipating a decrease.

Employment levels saw its fastest increase since November 2014, with respondents indicating a move away from reliance on sub contractors.

Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit said that the survey’s findings show that the UK Construction industry “remains firmly in expansion mode” despite commercial building being the only category to show faster growth than in September.

Mr Moore commented: ““Another relatively buoyant construction PMI reading indicates that the sector remains in rude health. Rather than acting as a drag on the economy, as suggested by recent GDP estimates, the sector is continuing to act as an important driving force behind the ongoing UK economic upturn.

“Construction companies also noted a rebound in new business flows during October and responded to rising workloads by taking on extra staff at the fastest rate for almost a year. Shortages of skilled staff persisted as a result, with the current period of falling sub-contractor availability the longest seen in over a decade.”