UK construction firms back into ‘expansion mode’ after housing boost, CIPS data shows

Good news; UK construction firms have moved back into “expansion mode” after the industry reported growth in activity for the first time since the EU referendum.
The Markit / CIPS Construction PMI data for September stood at 52.3, rising above the index’s 50.0 ‘no change’ mark and marking the biggest increase since March.
The figure was well above July’s seven-year low of 45.9 but still lower than the long-run survey average of 54.6.

Senior economist at IHS Markit Tim Moore said: “UK construction companies moved back into expansion mode during September, led by a swift recovery in residential building from the three-and-a half-year low in June.”
The residential building market recorded its biggest increase in output since January, with firms citing greater demand and improved market conditions for the upturn.
Civil engineering activity expanded at its fastest rate since March, new work rose for the first time since April and construction employment levels were also up.

The September figures also marked greater contractor confidence, with 45 per cent of those surveyed forecasting a rise in output before the year end, with only 9 per cent anticipating a reduction.
The commercial market continued to be hit by Brexit uncertainty, with activity decreasing for the fourth month in a row.
Firms also reported continued price inflation during September as exchange rates drove up materials prices close to the highest rate for two years.

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