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UK Construction Sector Downturn Eases In May

The UK construction sector downturn eased in May reflecting a gradual reopening of construction sites as lockdown measures introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus, were eased in England, survey data from IHS Markit showed Thursday.

The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 28.9 in May from 8.2 in April.

This was the second-lowest score since February 2009. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

Residential work was the most resilient category in May, followed by civil engineering. Commercial building also fell at a slower pace in the survey period, but was the worst performing broad area of construction.

It seems likely that construction activity will rebound in the near-term, as adaptations to social distancing measures become more widespread and the staggered return to work takes effect, Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit, said.

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