UK Construction Expands For Fourth Straight Month

The UK construction sector remained in the growth territory for the fourth straight month in June but the pace of expansion softened amid a renewed fall in housing activity, survey data from S&P Global showed on Thursday.

The headline construction Purchasing Managers’ Index posted 52.2 in June, down from 54.7 in May. A reading above 50.0 signals expansion. The score was seen at 53.6.

The main driver of growth continued to come from commercial activity. That said, the pace of expansion weakened from May’s two-year high. Civil engineering activity posted a slower increase.

The only category to post a contraction was housing, where output shrank notably after posting the first growth in 19 months in May.

The expansion in overall construction activity reflected the rise in new orders. The pace of growth was only moderate and the slowest since February as the general election had raised uncertainty.

Construction firms took additional staff for the second straight month. Moreover, the rate of job creation was the sharpest since August last year.

Companies lifted purchasing activity with rising new orders. There remained little sign of pressure on supply chains with vendor delivery times shortening for the sixteenth consecutive month.

On the price front, the survey showed that input price inflation ticked higher amid rising costs for some raw materials but remained well below the series average. Sub-contractor rates increased moderately and at the weakest pace in four months.

Optimism regarding the twelve-month outlook improved in June amid expectations that interest rates will start to come down.

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