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Financial News: UK Construction Sector Expands Most Since 2015

UK Construction Sector Expands Most Since 2015

08/06/2020 - 07:03:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK construction sector expanded at the fastest pace since 2015 driven by house building in July, survey data from IHS Markit showed Thursday.

The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose more-than-expected to 58.1 in July from 55.3 in June. The reading was forecast to rise to 57.0.

Residential building was the main growth driver in July, with activity increasing to the greatest extent since September 2014. At the same time, commercial work and civil engineering activity both expanded at slightly quicker rates.

New orders picked up for the second consecutive month, with survey respondents commenting on a boost to sales from easing lockdown measures and the restart of work on site.

Construction firms were optimistic overall about the prospect of a recovery in business activity during the next 12 months.

However, worries about the speed of recovery contributed to a sustained decline in staffing numbers in July.

On the price front, the survey showed that input cost inflation reached its highest level since May 2019.

After a summer of this blistering return to growth, building companies should prepare for a chilly autumn as furlough schemes come to an end and the real strength of the UK economy is revealed, Duncan Brock, group director at the CIPS, said.

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