New data on the construction sector has identified an 11 month low point, largely on the back of recent political uncertainty.
The latest figures from the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reached 51.9, the lowest results since August of last year. The worrying figure is dangerously close to 50, any score below which indicates shrinkage.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the construction sector contracted by around 0.9% in the second quarter of this year. This lead to a GDP growth of just 0.3%, compared to 1.1% in the first quarter.
“Worries about the economic outlook and heightened political uncertainty were key factors contributing to subdued demand,” said Tim Moore of IHS Markit, the company behind the PMI survey. “Construction firms reported that clients were more reluctant to spend and had opted to take longer in committing to new projects.”
Right now, the construction sector accounts for around 6% of the UK economy.
The Commercial Activity Index fell nearly five points to 47.6, its lowest since just after the 2016 Brexit referendum.
“Parallels with the darker days of Brexit, worries about the UK economy and post-election uncertainty can be seen across the construction sector,” said Duncan Brock, Group Customer Relationship Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.