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Confidence suffers as civil engineering and commercial activity stalls

Construction activity rose slightly in October according to the latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI®.

Activity rose last month, pushed forward by housing activity, while civil engineering and commercial building have once again declined. Overall respondents gave a subdued outlook for the industry. The figures now sit at 50.8 in October, up from 48.1 in September.

House building remains strong, with the activity here keeping activity across the sector on the rise, offsetting the losses in volume from civil engineering and commercial activity. It is the fourth consecutive month that commercial activity has decreased, which respondents linked to economic and political uncertainties in the UK leading to delays in decision making.

Chris Duffill, a Director at the Vinden Partnership, commented: “While residential activity is still solid, underpinned by the government housing drive, other sectors in construction industry are stalling, mainly due to continued political and economic uncertainty.

“This is leading to apprehension about UK economic prospects, and a lack of new projects in the pipeline.

“Even with this gloomy outlook, we must remember that figures have still risen and growth is still achievable. Residential is still a key growth area and the continued demand for housing is not going anywhere.”