- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 07 Sep 2020
August 2020 construction PMI survey results
Construction sector growth slowed according to the IHS Markit/CIPS construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for August 2020. The headline seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index registered 54.6 in August 2020, down from 58.1 in July 2020. Figures above 50.0 indicate growth of total construction output.
These statistics suggest a setback for the recovery in UK construction output, as improvements continue to slow in relation to the near five-year high in July 2020. Some survey respondents indicate that a lack of new work to replace completed contracts has halted growth.
Source: IHS Markit/CIPS.
House building has registered the strongest rebound since work stoppages were triggered in March 2020. This trend continued in August 2020, with the seasonally adjusted Housing Activity Index at 60.7. The figure for commercial work was 52.5; civil engineering activity was 46.6 in August 2020.
Total new business volumes increased for the third month running during August 2020, but the rate of expansion slowed from July 2020. Construction companies noted that economic uncertainty, especially from clients, has made it more challenging to secure new work. However, survey responses were varied, mirroring the multi-speed recovery experienced across different sectors.
Supply chain disruption persisted across the sector, which led to a sharp downturn in vendor performance. Stock shortages and an imbalance of supply and demand contributed to higher purchasing costs. The overall rate of input price inflation was the highest since April 2019.
 Business expectations boosted by potential infrastructure work
Despite reporting subdued new business intakes since the start of the pandemic, construction companies reported an improvement in their business expectations for 2021. More than twice as many survey respondents (43%) expect to see a rise in construction output over the next 12 months as those that anticipate a fall (19%).
This optimism was linked to anticipated involvement in major infrastructure and public sector construction projects. However, this did not stop a decrease in staffing numbers. The rate of job losses slowed slightly compared to July 2020 but overall continued at the fastest pace over the past decade.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Business and Planning Bill 2019-21.
- Construction market forecast 2015 to 2024.
- Construction Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) survey results: May 2020.
- Coronavirus and the construction industry.
- New deal for infrastructure 2020.
- Procurement route.
- The future of the coronavirus furlough.
- IHS Market/CIPS, Construction sector growth slows in August.
Featured articles and news
Prioritising tax considerations.
The four D creative process: discover, define, develop and deliver.
National Cyber Security Centre initiative is announced.
Reviewing trends and projections.
Legislation will establish initiatives to move towards net zero.
How to document contractor employment status.
Tech tools to help manage people and space post-pandemic.
A style that ranges from mock Tudor to arts and crafts to the 'Wrenaissance'.
Free guide from Secured by Design.
BREEAM strategy for sustainability and the circular economy.
Free tool to improve the construction programming process.
Are buildings doing what they're supposed to be doing?
Cities with quick access to everything by foot or bike.
The pressures and pinch points of global destinations.