The construction industry suffered another month of severe contraction in December as commercial building activity fell sharply, according to a survey of the sector published yesterday.

The Cips/Markit UK construction purchasing managers’ index fell to 29.3, down from 31.8 in November, marking a new low for a survey that began in 1997. This was the tenth successive month that the index has been below 50 – the level indicating contraction in the industry.

Cips said that the deterioration in the index reflected 'companies' concerns that the ongoing economic crisis shows little sign of relenting'.

Financial Times, The Times