04 September 2007 | Antony Barton
Construction activity in the UK rose to a nine-and-a-half year high last month, according to the latest Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI).
The CIPS/NTC PMI for construction, where a figure above 50 indicates growth, rose from 61.8 in July to 64.8. This is the highest level since February 1998.
The report attributes the rise to a continued growth in new orders, which reached 67.6 from 66.8 in July. Companies said this expansion, the sharpest increase in a month since April 1997, was largely due to improved marketing activity.
Employment growth rose at the fastest rate since July 2000, reaching 61.0 from 59.8 in July. Companies linked increased employment to the increase in new orders.
The cost of purchases, however, rose to 69.5 from 69.2 - a three-month high for price inflation. Around a third of survey respondents reported higher average costs compared with just over 1 per cent that indicated a decline.