Rising prices, supply chain disruptions and staff shortages have slowed the UK construction sector’s recovery over the past month, a poll on Wednesday revealed, adding to signs that economic growth has been taking a downturn recently.
The IHS Markit / CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell from 55.2 in August to an eight-month low of 52.6 in September.
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A Reuters poll of economists had indicated a value of 54.0.
The survey showed that construction activity in residential, commercial and civil engineering has cooled off.
The costs of construction companies rose sharply in September, with 78 percent of those surveyed indicating an increase in wholesale prices.
“The volatile pricing and supply environment has started to hamper new business entry as construction companies revised their cost forecasts and some customers delayed procurement decisions,” said Tim Moore, director at IHS Markit.
“As a result, the latest survey data pointed to the worst month for the order books since the January lockdown.”
The PMI for all sectors, which combines the construction survey with those for services and manufacturing, fell to 54.7 – its lowest level since February.