UK Construction Sector Significantly Expands

03 April 2012 16:00 - Florence Fullalove

    



UK Construction Sector Significantly Expands

The Markit/CIPS construction Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), used to measure the health of the construction sector, rose to 56.7 in March from 54.3 the month before. Not only was this significantly over the 50 mark, which separates contraction from expansion, but the result was better than the 53.4 economists had predicted.

The UK’s construction sector makes up 8% of its economy. The sector experienced new orders which expanded at the fastest rate in four and a half years, stronger business confidence and a modest pace of job creation. Commercial construction saw the best growth, but the civil engineering and house building sectors also achieved improvements.

Chief economist at Markit, Chris Williamson said, “The good weather appears to have led to a surge in demand for construction projects in March, adding to the recent flows of good news which suggests the economy will have skirted a recession.” He added, “This bodes well for the sector’s contribution to overall growth of the economy in the first quarter and will raise hopes that the country has avoided a slide back into recession.”

Today’s report can be grouped with other business surveys that suggest activity and confidence in the UK have slowly picked up in recent months. Having said this, economists are warning that despite recent upbeat indicators, the economy is not in the clear yet especially with pressures from high oil process, the government’s austerity drive and the ongoing climate in Europe.

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Related Links :
Purchasing Managers' Index - News Release
Markit - Press Releases
Related News - UK Manufacturing Growth
Economic Calendar - Scheduled Economic Events

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