Britain's construction output just dropped for the 4th consecutive month

LONDON — Output in the UK’s construction sector fell for a fourth consecutive month, signalling further trouble for the already stricken sector, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics on Friday.

Construction output fell by 0.9% in the month of July, while falling 1.2% on a three month to three month basis, a measure which removes some of the volatility of monthly numbers.

“Both the month-on-month and 3 month on 3 month series fell for the fourth consecutive month in July 2017,” the ONS said in a release, while noting that output “remains at relatively high levels.”

The chart below shows the UK’s construction sector’s longer term trend:

The ONS’ data comes in the same week that a Purchasing Managers’ Index survey from IHS Markit showed that the sector is creeping towards what would be its second recession in less than a year.

IHS Markit and CIPS’ latest PMI release for the construction sector — which measures expectations of growth — came in at 51.1 for the month of August.

That was down from an already weak reading of 51.9 in July, and also below the 52 reading expected by economists polled prior to the release.

“August survey data indicated that the UK construction sector continued to experience a slowdown this summer,” a release said.

“Reduced levels of commercial work were a key source of weakness, which offset robust growth in residential building.

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