Thursday, 3 May 2012

Double Dip Recession? Construction says No

The Construction PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) dropped to 55.8 in the last month - down from 56.7 in March. We can blame that on all the rain, but what would explain this?...

Last month, the construction industry was blamed for the UK falling into a double dip recession, with the Office for National Statistics saying there was a 3% contraction in Q1 compared to the previous 3 months. The PMI figures tell a very different story.

So what are the facts - the average PMI in Q4 of 2011 was 53.1 and rose to 54.1 in Q1 of this year - No contraction there!

How did the experts explain the conflicting stats? The chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight said this:
"...All construction data and surveys have to be taken with a considerable dose of salt at the moment as there are major discrepancies between what the surveys are indicating and what the hard data are showing."
So helpful(!) But if you're looking for some silver lining, if the experts are telling us to take the figures with a pinch of salt, maybe we're not in a recession after all! I mean, what's an error of 0.2% compared to 3%?