Survey Reveals Strong Growth For Construction Sector
9th January 2014 11:55 - Construction
According to the closely-watched Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for construction, the fourth quarter rate of expansion was the best since the third quarter of 2007, despite a slight easing in the pace of growth last month from a peak in November.
Results showed a reading of 62.1 in December, down from 62.6 the previous month – still well above the 50 level that separates growth from contraction. Apart from November the reading has not been as high since August 2007, marking eight months of continuous growth for the construction sector.
Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit, said:
“The decline merely signalled a modest easing in the rate of expansion from the surging pace of growth.”
David Noble, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute for Supply and Purchasing (CIPS), added:
“Continued strong expansion marked an outstanding end to 2013 for construction, positioning the sector on a solid recovery path for 2014.”
The construction PMI figures also showed house building, which was boosted by incentive schemes such as Help to Buy and Funding for Lending, remained the fastest growing area of activity in December – though posting a slower growth rate than November.
The majority of firms were optimistic about the coming year, with three-fifths (57%) expecting growth compared with a tenth (10%) forecasting decline.
Howard Archer, Chief UK and European Economist at IHS Global Insight, concluded by saying:
“What is particularly encouraging and bodes well for the sustainability of the construction upturn is that the construction managers survey indicates that the improvement in activity is now widespread across sectors.”
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