Tony Hugh

15th Jul 2020


There has been good news for the construction sector at the beginning of July, with activity on UK construction sites increasing at their fastest rate in two years, the latest data from the IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI) shows.

In June, the PMI posted a reading of 55.3, which puts it in positive territory, with a three-month decline in new business volumes also ending last month.

With construction sites around the country closed as the UK went into a full lockdown to contain the Covid-19 virus, and the May PMI posting a reading of just 28.9, it was little surprise that there was a big increase now that restrictions have been eased.

However, as Sky News reported, many analysts hadn’t anticipated quite such a significant jump, with many expecting the PMI to record a level of 46, which would have meant output was still in negative territory last month.

The research also noted that there continue to be supply chain issues and the stronger demand for construction materials has resulted in some materials (particularly plaster) increasing in price.

Group director of the CIPS Duncan Brock commented: “As business confidence improved to its largest extent since February, companies were buying up materials and laying the groundwork for a stronger summer’s end. This resulted in the highest input price inflation since the start of the year.”

Although those in the sector are aware that there will be ups and downs ahead, the mood in the construction sector appears to be one of optimism, at least for now.

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