Construction “firing on all cylinders” claim buyers

Grant Prior 11 years ago
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Construction buyers have reported the fastest rise in residential work for ten year as the industry starts “firing on all cylinders”.

Housing schemes led the way as the latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index recorded its fifth monthly rise on the trot.

But the index jumped dipped slightly to 58.9 in September from a six-year high of 59.1 in August – where any figure above 50 signals growth.

Construction employment levels rose for the fourth consecutive month and the rate of job creation reached its fastest for just under six years.

David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said: “The construction sector is firing on all cylinders.

“Growth in UK house building hit heights not seen for ten years in September, and was supported by a solid acceleration in business from commercial construction, whilst growth in civil engineering remains well above the long run average, rounding off the best quarter of growth in construction since Q2 2010.

“Confidence is now at its strongest in almost 3 and a half years building strong momentum going into the final quarter.

“Having been in the doldrums for so long, builders are using this renewal as a platform to invest, with employment seeing the most dramatic upturn in close to 6 years.

“Inevitably, purchasing levels have also increased, but the adverse effect of this is increased pressure on suppliers to meet growing levels of demand, to the extent that their performance deteriorated at the fastest rate for 16 years.

“These pressures, along with increased cost burdens have the potential to act as a brake on the sector, but should not overshadow the overwhelmingly positive picture for UK construction.”

Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit and author of the Markit/CIPS Construction said: “Construction is no longer the weakest link in the UK economy.

“The third quarter of 2013 ended with output growth riding high amid greater spending on infrastructure projects and resurgent house building activity.

“The reversal in fortunes has spanned commercial, residential and public sector construction projects.

“Moreover, builders are confident that a tide of new tender opportunities will continue to lift the construction sector in the months ahead, supported by improved development funding conditions and better underlying economic conditions.

“September’s survey suggested that constructors are beginning to react with confidence to the more positive landscape for the sector, as job creation and input buying both rose at robust rates over the month.”

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