UK construction PMI signals weakest performance for seven years
Reports from survey respondents widely linked the downturn in business activity to uncertainty ahead of the EU referendum (just over 80% of survey responses were received before 24th June).
Heightened uncertainty also contributed to a further reduction in new invitations to tender, with the latest data pointing to the sharpest drop in new business volumes since December 2012.
Meanwhile, softer demand conditions acted as a brake on staff recruitment in June and contributed to a drop in purchasing activity for the first time in just over three years.
At 46.0 in June, down from 51.2 in May, the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped below the neutral 50.0 threshold for the first time since April 2013.
The latest reading pointed to the weakest overall performance for exactly seven years, but the rate of contraction was much slower than seen during the 2008/09 downturn. ■