UK construction sector suffers worst dip since 2013
Growth in the UK construction sector has slowed to its lowest level since 2013, according to the latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), and it doesn’t look set to improve any time soon.
April’s data shows a loss of momentum across the sector, with huge falls in the volume of new orders down to the country’s unsettled economic state. The PMI recognises a mark of 50 as the difference between expansion and contraction, with anything above 50 representing growth, and although data from April gave a reading of 52.0, it still denotes a fall from March and a reading of 54.2. Construction companies claim that clients are hesitant to commit to expensive ongoing projects in our current uncertain climate, and a drop in contracts means a drop in staff hiring and input buying across the construction sector.
Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit, told The Guardian:
“April’s survey highlighted one of the weakest rises in housing activity since early-2013, suggesting that greater caution in this sub-sector is adding to the sluggish growth conditions seen across the wider construction industry”.
This news comes following claims from George Osbourne that the Government will be addressing the acute housing shortage within the UK, and in particular a lack of affordable housing, by implementing plans to raise the yearly housing budget to more than £2bn and to build 400,000 new affordable homes by 2020.