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Construction growth hits eight-month high

February saw a rise in activity in the UK construction industry, following growth in January.

That’s according to the latest Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers Index.

Last month’s figures stand at 56.5, up from 53.7 in January and the highest for eight months high. Anything above 50 is growth, anything below is a decline.

The report said: “UK construction companies were optimistic in February that activity would increase over the coming year, as overall economic conditions continue to improve and customer confidence increases.”

Markit economist Sarah Ledger, said: “February’s survey showed continued recovery in the UK construction sector following December’s weather-related decline in activity, with output rising at the fastest rate in eight months on the back of strengthening growth of new business.

“The latest figures suggest that, having contracted by -2.5% in the final quarter of last year, the ONS measure of construction output should bounce-back into positive territory in Q1.

“Demand and supply side pressures continue to push up purchase prices, with construction costs rising at the fastest rate since August 2008 and delivery delays the worst for over three years. Concerns about rising costs and fears over cuts in public spending meant future business optimism remained subdued and well below the long-run average.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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