03 April 2007 | Antony Barton
Construction in the UK showed a sharp increase in March, according to the latest CIPS purchasing managers' index.
Last month the index, where a reading above 50 indicates growth, revealed an industry activity figure of 58.9, up from 57.3 in February and reaching its highest level since December 2003. It was also the sixty-fourth consecutive month of growth in activity.
Companies said successful planning applications had contributed to the increase in activity.
Commercial activity growth remained sharp, at 61.1 from 61.3 in February, and housing construction activity expanded at the strongest rate this year so far, at 56.1 from 53.3 last month. The increase in civil engineering activity eased slightly, at 54.2 from 54.5.
Growth in all construction sectors was helped by a boost in new orders, which was the strongest in 30 months at 60.5. Firms said successful tendering and increased marketing activity had boosted volumes of new orders.
For coverage of previous PMI reports see the link below