02 August 2007 | Paul Snell
Construction activity reached an 87-month high in July, according to the latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI).
The CIPS/NTC PMI for construction, where a figure above 50 indicates growth, reached 61.8, compared with 60.1 recorded in June. Buyers reported that new contracts were the cause of the growth.
Activity in the commercial and civil engineering sector also rose compared with last month. Commercial activity reached 62.5 and civil engineering activity was 63.8 in July, the fastest growth since records began. But growth in housing activity was slower than in June, recording 56.7 compared with June's figure of 61.3.
New orders rose sharply to 66.8 compared with 63.4 last month, driven by stronger demand and improved marketing strategies. Employment was also up on June's figure, reaching 59.8 in July.
Buyers also experienced a sharp rise in costs last month, with input prices rising to 69.2, because of higher prices of fuel, oil and stainless steel.