The UK construction Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) has been bouyed by a rise in activity from a marked increase in new orders.
The report posted 54.0, up from 53.3 in April. Employment has also increased, ending a ten-month sequence of job cuts. Raw material prices remained at historically elevated levels and continued to drive cost inflation.
David Noble, CEO of CIPS 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.
“Sustained growth of commercial activity and reports of an unblocking of order books is much needed good news. It remains to be seen whether a marked expansion of commercial projects will help to replace what has been lost elsewhere in the coming months, but it has contributed to a small improvement in confidence. This is further reflected by the fifth month of rising purchasing activity, and the first – albeit modest – growth in employment for eleven months.
“Its encouraging to see a return to growth in the housing sector after April’s blip but there may be a long way to go before underlying demand for new properties, whether purchase or rental, takes the edge off market volatility.”
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