Investing.com – Britain's construction sector activity weakened less-than-expected in July, industry data showed on Tuesday.
In a report, market research firm Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said that their U.K. construction purchasing managers' index eased down to a seasonally adjusted 53.5 in July from June’s reading of 53.6.
Economists had expected the index to decline to 53.1 in July.
On the index, a level above 50.0 indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.
New order expansion was solid, with growth largely consistent with the rate seen in June. However, employment fell for a second month running.
Meanwhile, confidence improved slightly in July, but remained weak in the context of historical data.
Commenting on the report, chief executive officer at the CIPS David Noble said, “Whilst the sector is battling against poor economic sentiment, high inflation and continued worries in the euro zone, the sustained growth, albeit at a historically mild pace, has to be seen as a positive, especially compared to the fallback in the manufacturing sector.”
Following the release of that data, the pound was up against the U.S. dollar, with easing up 0.01% to trade at 1.6299.
Meanwhile, European stock markets were broadly lower. The FTSE 100 declined 0.35%, the EURO STOXX 50 slumped 0.3%, France’s CAC 40 shed 0.34%, while Germany's DAX retreated 0.5%.