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Shortages and surging prices stunt UK construction growth: PMI

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FILE PHOTO: A view shows construction cranes in Milton Keynes
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LONDON (Reuters) - Rising prices, supply chain disruption and staff shortages put the brakes on the recovery of Britain's construction sector last month, a survey showed on Wednesday, adding to signs that economic growth has taken a hit recently.

The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to an eight-month low of 52.6 in September from 55.2 in August. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a reading of 54.0.

The survey showed construction activity cooled across the housebuilding, commercial and civil engineering sectors.

Costs faced by construction companies rose fiercely in September, with 78% of respondents reporting a rise in input prices.

"The volatile price and supply environment has started to hinder new business intakes as construction companies revised cost projections and some clients delayed decisions on contract awards," said Tim Moore, director at IHS Markit.

"As a result, the latest survey data pointed to the worst month for order books since January's lockdown."

The all-sector PMI, which combines the construction survey with those for the services and manufacturing sectors, edged down to 54.7 - the lowest reading since February.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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