PMI: UK construction growth accelerates again in August thanks to cheaper energy

Chris Papadopoullos
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Construction continues to be one of the economy's key drivers - although on a year-on-year basis it softened slightly (Source: Getty)

The UK’s construction sector expanded at a faster pace in August, according to survey data released today.

Markit’s construction purchasing managers’ index ticked up to a score of 57.3 from July’s 57.1, moving further above 50 “no change” mark. Higher levels of business activity have now been recorded in every month since May 2013 - although the PMI is not as high as it was throughout 2014, signalling slightly softer growth.

Construction firms – which produce over six per cent of total UK economic output and collectively employ more than two million people – were buoyed by lower input costs in August mainly due to cheaper energy.

Strong growth was reported in the residential and construction sectors, but months of expansion means that construction firms are finding it more difficult to fill job vacancies.

“The construction sector maintained its position as a strong engine of job creation in August, as permanent staff numbers and sub-contractor demand both picked up over the month,” said Markit economist Tim Moore.

“However, the surge in construction workloads over the past two-and-a-half years has created substantial skill shortages across the sector, with survey respondents reporting ongoing staff recruitment difficulties this summer.”

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