The UK construction sector returned to growth in September after two months of falling output, survey data from S&P Global showed on Thursday.
The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply construction Purchasing Managers’ Index unexpectedly rose to 52.3 in September from 49.2 in August.
The index was above the 50.0 no-change value for the first time since June. The reading was forecast to fall to 48.0.
House building was the best-performing category in September, with growth reaching a five-month high. Commercial work increased only marginally, while civil engineering activity fell for the third month in a row.
New business volumes were broadly unchanged overall, which represented the worst month for new orders for almost two-and-a-half years.
Employment growth improved from August’s 17-month low. Nonetheless, firms continued to cite shortage of candidates to fill vacancies and strong wage pressures.
Despite rising cost burdens, overall inflation eased to its lowest since February 2021.
Respondents were cautious about their growth prospects in September. Outlook weakened to its lowest level in over two years, reflecting concerns about higher interest rates and a downturn in economic activity.
“Though the headline index showed growth after two months in contraction, the devil lies in the detail pointing to lower customer confidence, a challenging UK economy and recession on the doorstep,” said John Glen, chief economist at CIPS said.
For comments and feedback contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
What parts of the world are seeing the best (and worst) economic performances lately? Click here to check out our Econ Scorecard and find out! See up-to-the-moment rankings for the best and worst performers in GDP, unemployment rate, inflation and much more.