2011 | Adam Leach
Activity in the UK
construction sector grew in May as a result of an increase in orders despite
rising raw material prices, according to the latest PMI.
Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 54 from 53.3
in April, indicating an increased rate of growth in the sector.
The commercial sector
showed the strongest growth for the second successive month as it outperformed
expansion in house-building, while civil engineering saw a drop in activity.
David Noble, CIPS chief executive, said: “The millstone of public spending cuts
can be seen clearly in this month’s construction PMI, but aside from the
unsurprising decline in civil engineering activity, the overall figures are not
quite so foreboding.”
He added: “Sustained
growth of commercial activity and reports of an unblocking of order books is
much-needed good news.”
Putting the figures into context Noble said: “It remains to be seen whether a
marked expansion of commercial projects will help to replace what has been lost
elsewhere, but it has contributed to a small improvement in confidence.”
The survey concluded that one of the main drivers of the growth was an increase
in tenders and a high number of negotiations being concluded.
Sarah Ledger, economist at Markit said: “New order growth was marked,
suggesting that increasing levels of output will be sustained.”
Inflation dropped slightly for the second
consecutive month though remained at an historically high level as a result of
increased raw materials.