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Tue October 20 2020

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UK construction industry still contracting, say CIPS figures

2 Mar 10 The UK construction industry experienced its 25th consecutive monthly contraction in February, according to the latest figures from the Chartered Institute of Supply and Purchasing.

The UK construction industry experienced its 25th consecutive monthly contraction in February, according to the latest figures from the Chartered Institute of Supply & Purchasing.

The February CIPS construction index came in at 48.5, just below the 48.6 recorded in January and the 25th reading below the 50 level which marks the boundary between contraction and expansion.

Of the three UK construction sub-sectors, house building saw activity rise, civil engineering work saw the fastest contraction of the sub-sectors and commercial construction saw a "modest" contraction.

The construction sector continues to shed jobs. CIPS said constructon employment in the UK "continued to fall sharply" with the decline in staffing levels faster than experienced in January,

"Anecdotal evidence suggested that construction companies were working on contracts which utilised fewer staff," CIPS reported.

"While the UK economy slowly pulls into recovery mode, the construction sector has now been confined in recession territory for two years and is still very fragile. Though this was a relatively modest rate of contraction, tough operating conditions, dire weather and funding constraints dampened overall sector activity," David Noble, chief executive officer at CIPS, said.

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