In February 2016 construction activity in the UK experienced its slowest rate of growth in 10 months.
The slowdown has been attributed to customers delaying intended projects and builders hiring fewer workers in response to an uncertain economic outlook.
Markit Economic confirmed recently that its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) went down to 54.2 from the January high of 55. Any result above 50 is a confirmation of growth, but lower scores imply a slower rate of expansion. The median estimate in a survey carried out by Bloomberg suggested that economists had predicted a rise to 55.5 in February.
Housebuilding was the strongest performer in the industry for most of last year, but last month it became the weakest, growing at its slowest rate since June 2013.
Experts say that these figures are evidence of an economic slowdown. The manufacturing survey carried out by Markit indicated that last February factories experienced their lowest month in nearly three years. The services gauge due to be published soon is expected by economists to show a decline.
Markit confirmed that growth in construction orders have weakened and builders are not optimistic about their prospects in the year ahead.
Markit economist Tim Moore said that some clients have been unwilling to commit to new projects so far this year. The more cautious purchasing actions are regarded as additional confirmation that construction firms are bracing themselves for a prolonged period of slower growth in 2016.