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Construction PMI at 18 month high

CONSTRUCTION activity contracted in August at its slowest pace in eighteen months, a leading survey showed yesterday, raising hopes that the economy will grow in the third quarter.<br /><br />The CIPS/Markit construction purchasing managers&rsquo; index (PMI) recorded 47.7 in August, compared to 47.0 in July. However, it remained well below the 50 mark, which signals growth.<br /><br />David Noble, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing &amp; Supply, said: &ldquo;Though August saw a reduction in the rate of deterioration in the construction sector, it is still the sick man of the UK economy.&rdquo;<br /><br />IHSGlobal Insight&rsquo;s Howard Archer said: &ldquo;The sector is being helped by the government bringing forward some infrastructure spending as part of efforts to boost the economy,&rdquo;