Falling construction to build up in 2019

Materials World magazine
4 Jan 2019

The UK construction sector posted a slump to end 2018 with its slowest growth rate in three months in December. Despite civil engineering reaching its fastest growth since May 207, general construction PMI fell to 52.8 from the 53.4 posted in November 2018.

The IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index stated that the slow down was a result of small rises in commercial and housing during the last month of 2018. However, business optimism is up, with firms hoping that transport and infrastructure projects in 2019 will stimulate growth in the sector, with IHS reporting that confidence is at its highest point since April 2018.

During December, new orders also slowed down, but total new business volumes continued to rise after seven months of continuous expansion.

Duncan Brock Group Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, UK, told CityAM, ‘Firms continued to be impacted by Brexit-related uncertainty and reluctance by clients to place orders especially for commercial projects.’ However, he added, ‘This muted end to the year could not dampen hope completely as construction kept its head just above water waiting for political resolutions to the Brexit crisis and a clear path ahead.’