U.K. Construction Declines at Sharpest Pace in More Than a Year

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The U.K. construction industry slowed the most in more than a year as Brexit-related uncertainty led to project delays and a decrease in new orders.

IHS Markit’s purchasing managers’ index for the sector slumped to 48.6 in May, below the 50-mark that separates expansion from contraction and less than the 50.6 reading that economists expected.

U.K. Construction Declines at Sharpest Pace in More Than a Year

“Survey respondents attributed lower workloads to ongoing political and economic uncertainty, which has led to widespread delays with spending decisions and encouraged risk aversion among clients,” said Tim Moore, associate director at IHS Markit.

Key Insights

  • Index is at lowest since snow-related downturn in construction during March 2018
  • Commercial building and civil engineering work both declined in May; only-house building increased, though at a softer pace than usual
  • Employment in the sector dropped at sharpest pace in 6 1/2 years

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