Construction output contracts again in March

City A.M. Reporter

THE UK construction sector shrank for the third month in a row in March, according to official data out this morning.

The Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) inched up to 47.2 from 46.8 in February, holding below the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction and slightly undershooting forecasts for 47.5.

Markit said that unusually cold weather coupled with underlying demand strangled construction work last month.

“The negative print for construction output mirrors that seen for manufacturing, and now leaves the service sector as the last great hope for avoiding another slide in UK GDP,” said Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit.