UK construction activity inches higher, but remains weak

<p>British construction has recovered marginally, but the industry remains weak.</p>

The pound has made some progress in forex trading this morning (November 2nd) as UK construction activity succeeded in inching higher over the course of October, however the sector still remains very weak.

According to the Markit/Cips Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), last month's output rose to 50.9 from 49.5 in September.

Data below the PMI benchmark of 50 indicates contraction, while figures higher than this mean expansion. Therefore, October's progress pulled the industry out of recession but it is still not firmly enough in the black to be deemed strong.

New orders fell for the fifth month in a row and companies slashed jobs at their fastest pace since August 2011 – and Markit economist Tim Moore admits the outlook for the sector "remains bleak".

At 10:45 GMT today (November 2nd), the pound had slipped slightly versus the dollar, losing 0.1 per cent to £1 buying $1.609, while in trading with the euro, sterling was higher by 0.3 per cent to €1.249.

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