September 2nd, 2008
In the face of growing concern and gloom surrounding the construction industry, in particular the house building bit, construction folk in general seem to be keeping their spirits and appear on balance to be optimistic about future prospects.
That, as I read it, is the key message from the latest survey for August of construction activity and prospects by the buyers body CIPS.
The overall Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for construction activity has bounced a little after the record slump in July when the index hit 36.7. It now stands at 40.5, which is still some way down on the 50 neutral mark.
But the index measuring future prospects remains positive at 51.2 and has not shifted down despite increasing concern that the industry is set for recession.
Old stagers, though, will tell you to beware of “feel good” surveys taken after the holiday season. Things often look brighter after a couple of weeks in the sunshine (which this year obviously applies only to those that went abroad).
It will be interesting to have a look next month when the tans have faded and the jolly spirit has been diluted a little by the realities of being back at work.
Still it is nice that the industry has brought back a little ray of sunshine from its holidays.