Construction contractors will be pleased to hear that the industry is experiencing the sharpest rise in output for nearly seven years.
The Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) revealed that during January, UK construction companies started the year with an acceleration of output growth at their units, boosted by sharp rises in incoming new work.
Stronger demand resulted in a marked increase in employment numbers across the construction sector, as well as improved confidence about business outlook for the next 12 months.
Confidence about the year-ahead was the most positive since September 2009, which in turn supported job hiring in January. Higher levels of employment have now been recorded in the construction sector for eight consecutive months, which is the longest continuous period of job creation since early 2008.
David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, commented, “The construction industry has started 2014 in formidable fashion, enjoying its strongest growth in six-and-a-half years reinforced by a sharp rise in new business orders. Housing activity growth was the highest in a decade and remains the fastest improving area of construction. This was supported by a solid expansion in civil engineering and commercial activity, confirming a distinctly positive picture across the board.
“Backed by positive domestic market conditions, the growth in new work is continuing to drive employment upwards, and has now been increasing for eight consecutive months. It is also pleasing to see that this is resulting in growing business confidence, with firms expecting to see more activity in the next few months.”
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