British construction PMI remains weak in July amid Brexit uncertainty: survey

British construction purchasing managers' index (PMI) hit 45.3 in July, reflecting continuing weak activity in the sector due to subdued economic conditions and Brexit uncertainty.

According to a survey published on Friday by The IHS Markit/CIPS, a London-based global information provider, the PMI reading was 45.3 in July, up from June's ten-year low of 43.1, but still below the 50.0 neutral benchmark for the fifth time in the past six months.

The survey showed that commercial construction performed the worst in July and house building dropped for the second month in a row.

Meanwhile, the confidence sentiment of construction companies reported a sharp drop driven mainly by unclear business outlook, hitting the lowest since November 2012.

Tim Moore, economics associate director at IHS Markit, said that that Britain's construction output "remains on a downward trajectory and another sharp drop in new orders has reduced the likelihood of a turnaround in the coming months."

"July data revealed declines in house building, commercial work and civil engineering, with all three areas suffering to some degree from domestic political uncertainty and delayed decision-making," said Moore.

Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said that: "the sector felt the pressure of challenging economic conditions and the impact of another disastrous drop in demand growth, as purchasing activity petered out and Brexit nibbled away at confidence and decision-making."

"Moving into the second half of the year it will take the sector some time to dig its way out of this deep hole," said Brock.

"As the autumn and the potential negative impacts of a no-deal exit from the EU threaten, any significant recovery is unlikely to be on the horizon until 2020," added Brock.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency