NEWS | BUILDING PRODUCTS
Weakest rise in construction output for six months in September
Tim Moore, associate director at IHS Markit and
author of the IHS Markit/CIPS Construction PMI,
said: “UK construction fi rms experienced softer
output growth during September, with house
building, commercial and civil engineering all losing
momentum. A lack of new work to replace completed
projects meant that civil engineering saw an overall
decline in activity for the second month running and
remained the main laggard.”
OCTOBER | BUILDING PRODUCTS
UK construction companies indicated
a sustained increase in business activity
during September, but the rate of
expansion slowed for the second month
running. At 52.1 in September, down from
52.9 in August, the seasonally adjusted IHS
Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing
Managers’ Index (PMI) signalled the
weakest upturn in output for six months.
Civil engineering was the worst
performing sub-category of construction
work, with activity declining at a slightly
quicker rate in September. House building
and commercial construction continued
to increase at a solid pace, although the
latest survey indicated weaker growth than
in August. A number of fi rms suggested
that subdued economic conditions so far
in 2018 remained a factor holding back
business activity growth.
In contrast to the trend seen for
construction output, latest data pointed to
a faster rise in new business volumes.
New order growth
The rate of new order growth picked up to
its strongest since December 2016, which
fi rms attributed to resilient demand and an
upturn in new invitations to tender.
A robust rise in staffi ng numbers was
reported in September, helped by another
improvement in new order books. The
latest increase in employment was the
fastest since December 2015.
Sub-contractor usage also increased at
the fastest pace for over two-and-a-half
years. Survey respondents noted that
their own payrolls had been boosted by
a larger than usual intake of trainees and
apprentices in September.
Delivery times for construction products
and materials continued to lengthen in
September. Intense supply chain pressures
were attributed to stock shortages at
vendors and stretched transportation
capacity. That said, the latest downturn
in vendor performance was slightly less
marked than the three-and-a-half year low
seen during August.
Rising demand for inputs contributed
to a sharp and accelerated increase in
average cost burdens during September.
The overall rate of input price infl ation
was the fastest for three months. Survey
respondents widely cited higher fuel prices and greater
raw material costs (particularly timber).
September data indicated a further decline in
optimism about the year ahead business outlook.
The degree of positive sentiment reported by survey
respondents was the second-lowest since February
2013. Construction companies noted that political
uncertainty and investor concerns about Brexit had
dampened confi dence in September.
Only from Hörmann
Function Meets Design: ALR Vitraplan
• The industrial door with a fascinating mix
of reflection and transparency
• Special elegance with flush-fitting glazing
• DURATEC glazing with maximum scratch resistance
Commercial end customers