Belfast Telegraph

UK construction steady as firms play catch-up

By Helen Cahill

Output in the UK construction industry held steady in May, as firms continued to play catch-up from a period of severe weather in the first quarter.

The Markit/CIPS UK Construction purchasing managers' index (PMI) remained at 52.5 last month, beating estimates which predicted a reading of 52.

A reading above 50 indicates growth. Following the announcement, sterling nudged up 0.12% against the US dollar at 1.336.

Commercial activity improved, but there was slower growth in both residential and civil engineering projects.

Housebuilding remained the strongest sub-sector in the industry, with a PMI of 55.7, as compared to 52.2 and 50.6 for the commercial and civil engineering sectors respectively.

Samuel Tombs, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "The long investment time horizons for both commercial and civil engineering projects mean that both sectors likely will remain depressed until some clarity emerges over the UK's long-term relationship with the EU."

Some companies said the unusually good weather helped them to rebound from the Beast from the East.

Belfast Telegraph

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