05 September 2006 | Helen Gilbert
Growth in the UK construction industry was the sharpest for five months, according to the August CIPS construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) report released yesterday.
The seasonally adjusted index, where a reading above 50 indicates growth, recorded total construction activity at 54.5, compared with 53.2 in July.
The pick up in growth was underpinned by sharper increases in commercial activity, which posted an 11-month high of 57.5, and civil engineering, which performed at its strongest rate - 54.6 - since February 2004. The housing activity index posted a reading of 45.4.
Volumes of new orders received by UK constructors rose at their fastest pace in nine months, with the new orders index recording a level of 56.7 - up from 53.3. Reasons for the rise included a higher demand from both the private and public sector and greater spending on marketing.
Coverage of previous months' PMI reports is available at www.supplymanagement.com/pmi