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UK construction sector PMI reaches six-year high

PMI for the construction sector comes in at 61.7 in March

The lockdown restrictions across the UK have not heeded construction according to data that has emerged.

Data published on Thursday has revealed that construction activity is at its highest point in over six years.

IHS Markit‘s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the construction sector has come in at 61.7 for March. The recorded figure is a steep rise on February’s number of 53.3 and well above a previous forecast.

IHS Markit said there had been “robust growth” in all sub-sectors of construction, as well as finding that the most jobs have been created in the sector for over two years.

Tim Moore, Economics Director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, commented on the march data:

“March data revealed a surge in UK construction output as the recovery broadened out from house building to commercial work and civil engineering. Total activity expanded to the greatest extent for six-and-a-half years as residential spending remained robust, commercial projects restarted and infrastructure contract awards moved ahead,” Moore said.

“Improving confidence among clients in the commercial segment was a key driver of growth, with development activity rebounding in sectors of the economy set to benefit the most from the improving pandemic situation. The increasingly optimistic UK economic outlook has created a halo effect on construction demand and the perceived viability of new projects.”

“Constrained supplier capacity and stretched transport availability continued to pose challenges for the construction sector in March. Short supply of products and materials pushed up purchase prices at the fastest rate since August 2008.”

“Continued pressures on supply chains are expected in the near-term, but these concerns did little to dampen confidence about the business outlook. The latest survey pointed to the strongest growth projections across the UK construction sector since those reported during a post-election bounce back in June 2015.”

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