Monday, 7 April 2014

UK Construction PMI - March 2014

The UK Construction PMI hit 62.5 in March, only marginally down from 62.6 in February and still far above the 50 mark that denotes growth.

Economists had predicted a rise to 63.0, however the drop was largely down to slower civil engineering activity after emergency fixes during February's floods boosted work.

The rise in residential construction was one of the sharpest experienced over the past ten years at 64.2.

Construction has been the slowest of the UK's major industry sectors to recover from the crash and output remains more than 8% below where it stood in 2008. However, confidence among construction companies is at its highest level since January 2007.

Wages for construction workers have also recovered at the slowest pace of any sector and remain more than 12% below their peak taking into account inflation but firms are hiring staff at the fastest pace in four months.

Subcontractor availability fell at the fastest pace since 2000 and the increase in lead times for the delivery of construction materials was one of the biggest since the survey started in 1997

Data from Nationwide on Tuesday showed that the price of an average home had risen 9.5% in the last year. London prices are up 18%, with the average property in the capital worth more than twice the national average.

Commenting on the report, senior economist at Markit David Noble said, “As the rain gave way to sun, the housing market reclaimed its spot as the star performer. Commercial activity continued to rise strongly, benefitting from the positive business conditions.”