Construction

  • The first release of GDP estimated a 2.2% decline in construction output during the third quarter, due largely to an August slump. Though this figure will be revised as further data comes in, this would equate to the first quarterly year on year fall since Q1 2013.
  • The Glenigan Index for November was up 6% year on year, returning to growth after six months of contraction. The housing, civil engineering and non-residential building sectors were all up on a year earlier. Indications of coming activity are strong: Glenigan have recorded rising values of work achieving planning approval in 11 of the 12 constituent English regions and nations of the UK. Only the capital saw approvals down compared to a year earlier during 2015 so far (nine months to September).
  • October’s Markit/CIPS PMI survey indicated the strongest employment growth in almost a year, despite the pace of growth decreasing in both the residential and civil engineering sectors. Some respondents commented on efforts to reduce their reliance on sub-contractors; the availability of whom fell for the 28th month running.

Economy

  • Car registrations in the UK, a barometer of consumer confidence and spending, fell in the year to October for the first time since February 2012. While potentially an indicator of weakening consumer spending, registrations for the year to date remain 6.4% higher than a year ago so one weak month should not be a cause for concern.
  • UK mortgage approvals fell in September for the first time in four months, according to Bank of England statistics. 68,874 loans were approved for home purchases, down from 70,664. Summer had shown signs of a renewed easing in credit and rise in housing market activity, after changes to regulations dampened lending from mid-2014 to early 2015.
  • The Confederation of British Industry revised down its GDP forecasts for this year and next. It expects growth of 2.4% in 2015 and 2.6% in 2016; these are both 0.2 percentage points than forecasts made in August. They predict that an emerging markets slowdown and a strong pound will weigh on growth, but that domestic demand will remain strong.

 

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