UK construction orders stable in July, survey suggests

Builders building a roof
Image caption UK residential construction orders slowed in July

The UK's construction industry continued to grow in July, a survey of the sector has indicated.

The Markit/Cips construction purchasing managers' index (PMI) was virtually unchanged at 53.5 points in July from 53.6 points in June. A number above 50 indicates growth in orders.

But employment in the sector in the sector fell for a second month.

The data comes after a similar survey of manufacturing on Monday showed its first contraction in two years.


Within the construction sector there was an increase in commercial and civil engineering orders but a small decrease in residential orders.

"Following a recent flurry of disappointing surveys and data, it is actually somewhat of a relief to see construction activity expand at a similar pace in July to June," said Howard Archer an economist from IHS Global Insight.

It was the 17th successive monthly rise in construction orders.

Confidence amongst construction companies improved slightly but Markit said it remained subdued by historical standards.

However, PMI surveys are not always a reliable indicator of economic performance.

Data from the Office of National statistics showed the construction industry contracted during the winter despite surveys indicating solid growth in orders.

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