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Construction slows and other statistics

4 May 2016

There is increasing evidence that parts of the UK economy are slowing. Recent findings show growth in construction is at its slowest rate in three years.  

The latest Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 52 in April. While this is above the 50 level that signals growth, the figure represents a marked fall from March's reading of 54.2 and is well below analysts' expectations of a more moderate fall to 54. However, March was better than analysts expected so one should not read too much into a month's statistics!

The slowdown has been blamed on the uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum. There is no doubt that this has affected some inward investment into the commercial property market but the level of house building has not been enough to satisfy demand for a long time.

Markit/CIPS have raised concerns about another sector of the economy - manufacturing. The survey shows it has slipped to below 50% at 49.2% (anything over 50% is growth). As usual, Brexit fears have been blamed but it is probably more likely to be a recent rise in sterling and global growth fears.  

Global growth fears are reflected in the main markets around the world which have seen recent falls.  


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