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The construction sector activity in the UK economy grew at a faster pace than expected in October, a fresh report from Markit Economics showed on Friday.

The final Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 53.2 in October, up from 52.1 seen in September while surprising markets to the upside (52.0 expected).

Key Points:

Fastest growth in civil engineering since July 2017.

Slower rise in new projects at construction companies.

Business optimism weakest in nearly six years.

Trevor Balchin, Economics Director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, noted:

“Although total UK construction activity rose at a stronger pace in October, the underlying survey data paint a less rosy picture for the sector towards the end of the year.”

“New contracts increased at only a modest pace, and firms were the least optimistic regarding the 12-month outlook for nearly six years. Construction companies again linked uncertainty to Brexit negotiations, which influenced delays to final decisions at clients.”