June saw the lowest construction output in three years: A recent survey has revealed that some individuals are concerned that the EU referendum has resulted in outputs in the United Kingdom’s construction sector to fall to the lowest level in three years. However, the figures were not all negative, with the data also showing that the number of jobs created increasing to a four month high in May.
The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index revealed that new jobs decreased for the first time since April 2013, from 52 in April, to 51.2 in May. The survey respondents cited an overall slowdown in market conditions and slower client decision making ahead of the EU referendum as reasons for the decrease.
Irrespective of the decrease, the survey revealed that construction companies are still largely upbeat about the growth prospects in the future, with more than half (51 per cent) of the respondents saying that they anticipate a rise in output in the next year. Just 14 per cent said that they are expecting a decrease in output. According to the report, these figures resulted in an increase in job creation in May, to reach a 4 month high.
The survey findings revealed that residential building increased at one of the slowest rates seen since early 2013, whereas the growth of commercial activity was at the slowest it has been in three years. Civil engineering peaked in May, making it the weakest performing sub-category of construction activity for the second consecutive month.
The figures from may suggested that there has been an outright decrease in new order volumes for the first time since April 2013. Anecdotal evidence from the respondents revealed that there is a lack of confidence within clients as a result of the country’s economic outlook. As well as this, many firms said that there has been a resistance amongst clients to place orders and commerce contracts until post-EU referendum.