UK construction growth slows

The construction sector continued to grow in November, but at a slower rate than October, according to a survey of industry participants.

The Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index scored 52.3 for the month, on a scale where any figure over 50 represents growth.

The modest number represents a slight worsening of conditions from October, when the comparative figure was 53.9.

Employment in the sector also increased in November, supported by an increase in new business.

The rate of jobs growth was the fastest since March 2008, while residential construction rose for the first time in six months.

Markit economist Sarah Bingham said: “The ongoing expansion suggests that the sector may provide a positive contribution to economic growth in the fourth quarter.

But she notes that confidence, while improving since October, remains low, as construction firms fear clients’ concerns will hold back growth.

“The outlook for the sector remains challenging, with confidence over future activity levels still subdued. Construction companies’ main concern is that wider economic uncertainty will impact negatively on clients’ spending decisions.”