British construction activity unexpectedly grew a little last month, a survey showed on Thursday, but confidence among firms in the sector dropped to the lowest level in nearly five years. Laura Frykberg reports.
UK construction activity may be high. But firm's confidence in the sector is at a new low. New PMI data revealing it's weakest level in nearly five years. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, COMMERZBANK, PETER DIXON, SAYING: "We've seen a slump and now we see the construction sector more or less flatlining. It's one of the potential canary in the coal mine because if we see a situation where house prices start to cool a little bit in the event or the whole expectation the brace it will take place then you know you might expect to see construction activity start to taper a little bit." Despite a pick up in new orders last month, edging back above the 50 level that denotes growth construction firms' confidence in business prospects for the next year dipped to its lowest level since December 2012. The last time Britain got close to recession. Survey compiler IHS Markit says anecdotal evidence is the gloom over construction - which accounts for about 6 percent of the economy relates to concerns about Britain's overall economic outlook. One - that still remains murky with Brexit looming.