Construction growth slows in May

PMI drops from 55.8 to 54.4, but remains in growth.

Cranes ready to help the construction industry. Photograph: Getty Images

The May construction PMI for the UK came in at 54.4, down from 55.8 in April. This represents a slowing of growth in the sector, although it remains one of the highest-performing areas of the UK economy. A figure of above 50 in the PMI represents growth, according to a survey of purchasing managers in construction.

Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit, said:

A softer trend in new projects set the tone for the construction sector in May, with output growth hitting a three-month low and business confidence dropping sharply since April.

While still in positive territory, the month-on-month fall in business confidence was the greatest since June 2010, which was when plans for the autumn government spending review were first announced. This reassessment of the year-ahead outlook represents worries within the construction sector that weakening economic conditions could leave firms running on empty again once existing projects have come to completion.