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Construction sector activity increases in September

On the face of it, today's Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply report would appear to be good news with an increase in activity throughout September. However, despite the fact that the index increased from 52.1% in August to 53.8% in September it seems that construction companies are now more downbeat about the immediate future than they have been for 18 months.

It would appear that a mixture of potential economic turbulence together with a number of austerity measures introduced by the UK government could bring about a reduction in construction activity and put the sector under more pressure. While new orders continued to increase throughout September there has been a marked reduction in the rate of growth seen over the last few months and the number of job cuts in the industry continues to grow.

It seems almost inevitable that the UK economy is set for a very difficult period throughout the latter part of 2010 and 2011. Whether or not these concern from the construction industry, and other areas of the UK economy, are unfounded and potentially overdone remains to be seen. However, the UK government will need to act sooner rather than later to inject even the slightest inkling of optimism back into the UK economy.

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