House building helps UK construction sector return to growth
LONDON (Alliance News) - UK construction output rose for the first time since January buoyed by domestic housebuilding, IHS Markit said on Thursday.
The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index increased to 50.5 in April from 49.7 in March, beating consensus estimates of 50.3. The score went back above the line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
Markit said the reading pointed to a modest expansion of overall construction output in April, which contrasted with the declines seen in each of the previous two months.
According to Markit, housebuilding was "by far" the strongest performing area of construction work in April. The latest data revealed a solid expansion of residential work, with the rate of growth reaching its highest since December 2018.
Tim Moore, associate director at IHS Markit noted: "A return to growth would normally be considered a positive month for the UK construction sector, but the weakness outside of housebuilding gives more than a little pause for thought. Commercial activity and civil engineering both remained on a downward path in April as political uncertainty led to delays with spending decisions."
The PMI readings for both the Commercial building and Civil Engineering sectors were below 50 in April, indicating contraction.
"Residential work retained its position as the sole driver of growth across the three main segments of construction activity. Survey respondents once again noted that residential projects were buoyed by strong demand for new homes, low mortgages rates and first time buyer incentives," Moor said.
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