Housebuilding boosts UK construction growth

 Housebuilding boosts UK construction growth
04 July 2014

UK construction has grown at its fastest annual pace in four months during June 2014 led by an increase in housebuilding, a survey has suggested.

The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the sector rose to 62.6 in June from 60.0 in May, its highest level since February and well above the forecast for a fall to 59.5.

The reading beat analysts' forecasts for a fall to 59.5. A measure above 50 indicates growth in the sector.

"(This) represents a remarkable yardstick of progress as the sector looks to recover the ground lost over the past seven years," said survey author Tim Moore.

Construction firms also hired new staff at the fastest rate since the survey began in 1997.

Housebuilding was once again the fastest-growing segment in the construction sector, seeing the biggest expansion in activity and the fastest growth in new orders since January.

Markit said accelerating house prices, low interest rates and strong demand continue to encourage housebuilders to launch new housing developments.

Commercial real estate development also picked up speed, while the growth in civil engineering work slowed as flood-relief work earlier in the year dried up.

Moore said that the construction PMI data over the second quarter pointed to the sector growing by more than one percent over the three-month period.

Official data released last week showed that Britain's construction output rose by 1.5 per cent in the first three months of 2014 and was 6.7 percent higher than a year earlier - the biggest annual rise in three years. The PMI figures pointed to ongoing momentum in the sector, with new orders coming in at the fastest rate since January.

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