Slower housebuilding hits UK construction growth

A sharp slowdown in housebuilding in the UK sapped construction growth during August, an industry survey showed today.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply’s (CIPS) latest activity index, where a score over 50 signals growth, fell to 52.1 from 54.1 in July - the third monthly fall in a row.

Housebuilding saw much weaker growth than commercial construction and civil engineering, fuelling fears that the sector’s strong rebound since the recession is losing steam. Construction jobs also fell for the second successive month

CIPS chief executive David Noble forecast low growth rather than a return to recession, but said: “Those looking for signs of a slowdown will find plenty to worry about.

“The most disturbing (sign) is the marked slowdown in the residential sector as this is where much of the recent sector growth has come from.”

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