☛ Want the latest procurement and supply chain news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the Supply Management Daily
2 March 2012 | Adam Leach
Expansion in activity and new business
orders pushed the UK construction sector up to an 11-month high.
The CIPS/Markit UK Construction PMI for
February, published today, recorded a robust expansion figure of 54.3 as the
rate of growth sped up from 51.4 in January. The figure, the highest since
March last year, was driven by increased output in each of the three sectors -
housing, commercial and civil engineering.
Buyers responding to the survey reported a
marked rise in business as the number of successful tenders submitted rose,
while the size and value of contracts was also reported to have increased. But
the rising activity in the sector didn’t carry through to recruitment, with
employment dropping as a result of reorganisation in companies.
David Noble, CEO at CIPS, said: “The construction sector’s relatively
buoyant start to 2012 continued in February, as sustained growth affirmed the
industry’s ongoing recovery from the financial crisis in 2008. However, the
increase in new work from sizeable contracts was tempered by the moderate dip
in overall employment.”
Sarah Bingham, economist at Markit and
author of the UK Construction PMI, said: “The improved performance of the
construction sector adds to other positive data released on the UK economy.
However, it remains to be seen whether GDP growth for the first quarter will be
recorded and, if it is, any expansion is likely to be only modest as general
economic conditions remain fragile.”
The survey also reported anecdotal evidence
from respondents suggesting factors such as better visibility over future work,
new market initiatives and healthier economic conditions pushed business
confidence to a nine-month high.