British construction slows further

March 4, 2013 at 10:22 AM
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LONDON, March 4 (UPI) -- The Purchasing Managers Index for Britain's construction sector fell last month to the lowest mark since October 2009, a private research firm said Monday.

Markit Economics said the sector's PMI dropped from 47.7 to 46.8, holding below the break even point of 50 for the fourth consecutive month.

A PMI score above 50 indicates business growth, while below that indicates contraction.

The score for February "reflected a return to declining levels of commercial building work and a sharp decrease in civil engineering," Markit said.

Commercial construction has fallen to its slowest level in three years, while the category of civil engineering is also at its lowest point since October 2009, the report said.

"This is undoubtedly a dismal set of data for the U.K. construction sector," said Markit Senior Economist Tim Moore.

"With total output falling at the steepest pace for over three years, the latest PMI survey is confirmation that January's construction decline was not entirely snow-related," he said.

"Downward pressure on client budgets, alongside subdued pubic sector spending again led to lower output levels and reduced order inflows," he added.

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