Construction industry

Prefab lowered between buildings
It is believed to be the first time engineers have lifted a complete flat into place between existing buildings.

Consumer demand 'squeezed on all sides'

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That IHS Markit/ CIPS Construction index, mentioned earlier, gave a 45.3 reading in July. Any reading below 50 shows contraction and it posted below this level for the fifth time in the past six months.

The latest reading was up from June's ten-year low of 43.1 but still signalled a marked downturn in total construction activity.

"Total business activity declined at a softer pace than the ten-year record seen in June, but this should not detract attention from the challenges ahead for the construction sector. Customer demand has been squeezed on all sides in recent months, which has pushed down business expectations to the lowest since the second half of 2012," said Tim Moore, economics associate director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.