Construction trade hits six-and-a-half year year

The Northern Echo: Construction accounts for about seven per cent of Britain's economy. Construction accounts for about seven per cent of Britain's economy.

CONSTRUCTION  picked up more speed in January, with growth reaching its highest level since the financial crisis, a survey of purchasing managers showed on Tuesday.

The latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index hit 64.6 in January, up from 62.1 in December and above the neutral 50.0 value for the ninth successive month.

Housing activity rose at its fastest rate for ten years while commercial building and civil engineering both enjoyed significant increases.

Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit and author of the Markit/CIPS Construction PMI, said: “January’s survey provides reassurance that the UK construction recovery remains on track.

“The latest data show positive developments on a number of fronts, with job creation rebounding at the start of the year while output and new business growth was the fastest since the summer of 2007.

“Housing activity growth now stands at its strongest for just over a decade, boosted by growing demand for new homes and improving confidence within the UK property market. Meanwhile, strengthening domestic economic conditions spurred greater spending on commercial projects in January.

“A sharp rise in civil engineering activity completed an impressive showing from all three sub-categories of construction monitored by the survey.

“While input cost inflation eased in January, there were again signs that some suppliers are struggling to adjust to greater demand for construction materials.

“Vendor lead-times were lengthening even before the surge in construction output began last year, and now firms are reporting that cutbacks to capacity have caused supply bottlenecks as demand picks up across the sector.”

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