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UK construction grows for 21st consecutive month

04 Feb 2015

Data released yesterday by Markit/CIPS* shows UK construction growth is healthy, and expanded for the twenty-first month in a row

All three components (residential, commercial and civil engineering) of the construction data grew, with the combined index registering 59.1 (a reading above 50.0 indicates expansion), albeit below the average reading for 2014 of 61.8

The survey also shows that bottle-necks are occuring for suppliers to the construction industry, including an increasing shortage of sub-contractors, contributing to the fact that employment growth slowed - though still positive - and longer delivery times. These factors are likely to prevent the sector growing as quickly as it could

However, half the respondents expected growth to continue for the year ahead, whilst only ten percent expected a decline. Respondents also highlighted that the lower oil price was contributing to lower input costs, keeping inflationary pressures benign

The release painted an optimistic picture of the UK economy, similar to the UK Manufacturing PMI data, released yesterday

*The Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) is based upon data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to over 170 construction companies. The survey has gained an excellent reputation for giving the earliest possible indication to what is actually happening at 'grass roots' level in the economy. 

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