UK construction PMI points to ‘renewed slowdown’ in August

A key measure of activity in Britain’s construction industry pulled back sharply in August, according to a report issued on Tuesday that placed fresh pressure on the UK pound.

IHS Markit’s construction purchasing managers’ index dropped to 52.9 in August from July’s 14-month high of 55.8. The figure was substantially worse than the fall to 55 that was forecast by City economists in a Thomson Reuters poll.

The disappointing reading follows a similarly weak PMI report on the UK’s factory sector, which was released on Monday.

“August data pointed to a renewed slowdown in output growth across the UK construction sector, with all three broad categories of activity recording a loss of momentum since the previous month,” IHS Markit said on Tuesday.

“That said, there were signs of resilience in terms of underlying workloads, with the latest survey signalling another solid upturn in new business.”

Sterling hit session lows after the release of the data, trading down 0.39 per cent on the day at $1.2819. It had risen above $1.30 last week amid a bout of optimism over Brexit talks which has since faded.


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