The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI® for December read 44.4, falling significantly from November’s 45.3, and languishing in the contraction zone for the eighth consecutive month.
Civil engineering was by far the worst performing sector, with activity falling at the fastest rate since 2009. The data also revealed a sharp drop in commercial work. Both sectors reportedly suffered from postponed project decisions. House building activity also dropped, for the seventh month running, albeit at a modest rate of decline.
New business volumes declined but the rate of contraction was less severe than earlier in 2019. Similarly, the employment decline was the softest in four months.
Input inflation was at the weakest in almost ten years with higher energy and fuel costs the main drivers for rising prices.
Business optimism rebounded to a nine-month high.