Saudi private sector growth accelerates moderately in July -PMI

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IHS Markit's survey of purchasing managers in the UK's construction industry revealed a reduction in new business for the first time in 11 months. "There were signs that the accelerated pace of new order growth was driven by domestic spending, as the latest increase in export sales was weaker than in June", it said.

Commercial building activity was the primary factor behind slowing growth in the construction sector, while residential building was the strongest performing category, even though the latest rise was the slowest in three months.

But growth in the finance and real estate industries slowed to multi-year lows in the second quarter as property transactions in many cities declined amid regulatory efforts to tamp down speculation and rein in risky activities in the financial sector.

But the latest figures offered a glimmer of hope, also revealing an increase in employment for the 12th consecutive month. "A number of survey respondents cited delays in decision making by clients, linked to worries about the economic outlook and heightened political uncertainty", noted the report from Markit and the CIPS.

"China's economic performance in July was stronger than expected, mainly due to sustained recovery in the manufacturing sector", Zhengsheng Zhong, Director of Macroeconomic Analysis at CEBM Group, said in a note accompanying the data release. "Construction firms reported that clients were more reluctant to spend and had opted to take longer in committing to new projects".

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Before leaving, however, he found time with caddie Michael Greller to watch a recording of the final round of the British Open. Martin Kaymer has withdrawn from the PGA Championship next week because of an injury to his left shoulder.

Meanwhile, factories in the euro zone started the second half with buoyant growth, which although slightly weaker than previously estimated was broad-based and appears to be sustainable, a survey by a separate private institute showed yesterday. Sub-contractor usage also decreased during the latest survey period.

"July data reveals a growth slowdown in the United Kingdom construction sector, mainly driven by lower volumes of commercial development and a loss of momentum for house building".

While the rise in imported inflation in construction has a relatively one-sided impact, harming growth, the fall in sterling has positive effects for factories which export their goods.

"Construction firms remained upbeat about their growth prospects, but the degree of optimism was the lowest since July 2016".

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