Construction hits 6-month low in December as slump deepens

 
Ben Southwood
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THE slump in the UK construction industry deepened in December, with activity dropping even further.

The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the construction industry fell to a six-month low of 48.7 in December, from 49.3 in November, according to data released yesterday by Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchase & Supply. Since this is further below the crucial no change value of 50, it signals a faster pace of decline in the beleaguered industry.

“December rounded off a miserable year for the UK construction sector,” said Tim Moore at Markit, “with output declining at the steepest pace for six months and new business intakes falling back at the fastest rate since April 2009.”

And unlike many other industries, construction firms don’t expect much of a let-up in 2013, Moore said, due to worries that client purse-strings could be tightened in the coming year.

The sector was even denied good news from input prices inflation, which rose despite the profound weakness in the sector.