Construction PMI shows growth in all three sub-sectors - but only commercial building increases pace

Catherine Neilan
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It's not growing fast, but it is growing steadily (Source: Getty)

The UK's construction sector grew across all three sectors in October - but only commercial building increased the pace of growth compared with September.

Markit PMI for the industry registered 58.8 in October, down from 59.9 in September but comfortably above the contraction threshold. This marks two-and-a-half years of sustained output growth.

While the pace of expansion was weaker than in 2014, the latest survey was "comfortably" ahead of the pre-election low experienced in April of this year.

Housing activity dropped back from September's 12-month high, while civil engineering had the weakest growth since May. However commercial building work increased at the sharpest rate in eight months.

Companies in the sector were "highly upbeat about their prospects for the next 12 months", with 59 per cent predicting a rise in business activity and only seven per cent expecting a decline.

Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit and author of the survey, said: “October’s survey indicates that the UK construction sector remains firmly in expansion mode, although commercial building work was the only category to experience faster growth than in September.

“Another relatively buoyant construction PMI reading indicates that the sector remains in rude health. Rather than acting as a drag on the economy, as suggested by recent GDP estimates, the sector is continuing to act as an important driving force behind the ongoing UK economic upturn."

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