The construction sector activity in the UK improved slightly last month, the latest survey report from Markit Economics showed this Tuesday.

The final Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 45.3 in November, up from 44.2 recorded in October and beat the consensus estimates pointing to a reading of 44.5.

Key Points:

Output falls in all three broad categories of construction.

Sharp drop in new work.

Staffing levels decrease for the eighth month in a row.

Tim Moore, Economics Associate Director at IHS Markit, noted:

““UK construction output fell again in November as Brexit uncertainty and the forthcoming General Election continued to send a chill breeze across the sector. The speed of the downturn in construction work eased a little since October, but the survey continues to signal a notable drop-off in business conditions compared with the first half of 2019.”

"Greater hesitancy among clients led to a decline in overall new work for the eighth consecutive month during November. Construction companies reported a particularly sharp fall in demand for commercial projects amid a greater squeeze from domestic political uncertainty and delayed investment decisions.

FX Implications

The data failed to offer a fresh boost to the GBP bulls, as GBP/USD kept the recent upside near 1.2980 levels.