February worst month for construction since October 2009

UK construction sector had its worst month in February since October 2009, according to new data from Markit/CIPS.

New work has fallen for the ninth consecutive month, the report says, and February data pointed toward a sharper slide, with the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index – which measures overall output in the sector – dropping to 46.8, from 48.7 during January.

Lower levels of new work have been recorded in each month since last June, reflecting cuts to client budgets and intense competition for new work, the report says.

The data represents a blow to chancellor George Osborne, who said last month that the construction industry was “vital” to the UK’s success.

“Input buying has now fallen for nine consecutive months, which is the longest continuous period of decline since that seen in 2008-2010,” the report says.

Tim Moore, a senior economist at Markit, called it a “dismal set of data for the UK construction sector”.

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