Construction sector contracts for 20th consecutive month

| November 3, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Chartered Institute of Planning & Supply(CIPS)/Markit purchasing managers index fell to 46.2 in October, from 46.7 in September, marking the 20th consecutive month of falls due to a slump in demand for commercial and civil engineering work.

Meanwhile, job cuts in the sector also increased at the fastest rate in four months, while input costs were rising, according to the index.

David Noble, CIPS chief executive, comments: “These continue to be worrying times for the UK construction sector. Further drops in commercial and civil engineering activity were the key drivers behind the bad news.”

“Perhaps of most concern is the continued slashing of jobs at construction firms. The pace of job cuts actually accelerated in October as the current state of the sector means that many who have lost jobs will struggle to find something else before Christmas,” added Mr Noble.

However, on a positive note, residential construction activity continued to rise for the second month in a row and across the whole sector, new orders held at steady levels since September, ending a 19-month period of falls.

Sarah Ledger, economist for Markit, said: “Compared with data recorded at the height of the downturn, the current fall in UK construction sector activity remained relatively modest.”

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