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Brexit weighs on UK construction

Tuesday, August 02, 2016 - 01:28

Britain's construction industry suffered its sharpest downturn in seven years last month, according to another business survey which suggests the economy is at risk of recession after June's Brexit vote. Hayley Platt reports

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There's signs of activity but the pace appears to be slowing. UK construction fell in July. Analysts blaming the Brexit vote for the industry's sharpest downturn in seven years. (45.9 July) (46.0 June) It wasn't as bad as many had expected - but still the wrong side of 50 which denotes growth, adding to more data doom and gloom. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF RESEARCH, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "If we look at the manufacturing figures yesterday and the upcoming service figures, we are seeing a lot of signs of nervousness from British companies as the results of the Brexit vote begin to unravel and the implications become clearer." Some of Britain's biggest construction firms say they're not feeling the Brexit Blues yet. But housing building also fell and some firms have been cutting staff at the fastest rate in almost four years. Commercial construction - which accounts for almost a third of new work - is also suffering. But recession isn't inevitable yet. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF RESEARCH, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "We haven't yet really seen any suggestion of recessionary territory, particularly in terms of the GDP number. It's likely to be 3 maybe even 6 months before we get a real clue as to what actual impact the Brexit vote is having on UK companies." The Bank of England will want to do everything it can to avoid that fate. It's expected to cut interest rates on Thursday for the first time in 7 years.

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Brexit weighs on UK construction

Tuesday, August 02, 2016 - 01:28