The IHS Market/CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index® improved slight in October to read 44.2, up from 43.3 in September. However, it still indicated a sustained decline in UK construction output for the sixth consecutive month.
The latest survey also revealed a sharp drop in new works, with new orders dropping for the seventh consecutive month, albeit at a slower rate.
Civil Engineering was the worst performing sector, with a ten-year record fall in activity. House building also decreased at a faster rate in October, signalling the greatest reduction in residential work for more than three years. Commercial construction declined for the tenth month running but at the slowest rate since May.
Construction companies continued to reduce workforce numbers, linking the need to do so to weak order books and concerns over the near-term business outlook.
Input buying dropped, but supplier lead times still extended. Input cost inflation was the lowest for more than three years.