UK construction PMI reaches four-month high - PBC Today

  • Date: 04/12/2018

Construction activity in November indicated a solid expansion of UK construction output as new work picked up and client demand rose, according to the latest construction PMI.

Since October, growth of new work improved and rising client demand underpinned a robust and accelerated expansion of employment. The rate of job creation was the highest since December 2015.

Despite this, business confidence remained relatively subdued, with survey respondents noting that Brexit-related concerns had weighed on their growth projections for the next 12 months.

Phil Harris, Director at BLP Insurance added: “The continued positive trend revealed today seems somewhat irrelevant for the construction sector against the backdrop of the upcoming parliamentary vote on Brexit on 11 December. However, with the sector stuck in a state of perpetual paralysis for the last year and 2019 fast approaching, it is time for construction to look beyond Brexit.

“At present, the fundamental demand in the housing sector is robust, with the largest amount of new builds registered recorded in Q3 2018 since the global financial crisis; however, the retail and commercial markets continue to fluctuate, showing signs of stress.

“With the festive period looming, the sector’s seasonal lag will soon kick-in. The focus for many will turn to getting projects over the line rather than landing new contracts. This is only natural but regardless of a definitive Brexit outcome -or lack thereof – the industry must persevere with its long-term aspirations in 2019.

“Quick-fix ‘solutions’ that favour quantity over quality of build are not the remedies our housing crisis needs. Foresight and a strategic vision are required, such as incentives for capital investment in modular housing at every level – even if this means forgoing short-term targets. Also, a more integrated and collaborative collective mind-set in 2019 among all stakeholders, including housing associations, developers, local authorities and government, can accelerate progress on key projects such as the ambitious development of the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge corridor.”

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