New houses boost construction

1 May 2007
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02 May 2007 | Paul Snell

Demand for new houses boosted activity in the construction sector in April to its highest level in 41 months.

According to the latest CIPS Purchasing Managers Index, where a figure of 50 represents no change, activity in the sector rose from 58.9 in March to 59.8 last month.

Growth was driven by the housing market, which expanded at its quickest rate in three years. Housing activity recorded a figure of 60.9 in April, up from March's reading of 56.1.

Buyers also recorded a rise in employment, up from 56.8 to 57.4 last month, with companies hiring additional staff to deal with extra work. Optimism about the sector's future was also at its highest for three months, recording 76.3 in April.

There was also an increase in the number of new orders in April, at 60, slightly down on March's figure of 60.5.

* Further coverage of PMI reports is available at


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