UK construction activity picks up in November

| December 2, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply(CIPS)/Markit construction PMI index revealed activity improved in November.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 51.8 in November from 51.6 the previous month and surprised analysts who had expected a fall to 51.

The index remains above the crucial 50 level, which indicates expansion.

Activity in the commercial and civil engineering sectors increased while housebuilding fell for the third consecutive month, the survey showed.

However, new orders growth slowed to its weakest in nine months, while employment fell for the fifth month in a row.

Construction accounts for around 6% of Britain’s economic output.

Meanwhile, the index comes shortly after figures revealed UK manufacturing activity unexpectedly grew in November.

The closely-watched CIPS/Markit manufacturing PMI rose to 58 in November from an upwardly revised 55.4 in October.

Not only was the reading the highest since September 1994, it confounded analysts expectations of a reading of 54.6.

Again, the index continues to remain above the crucial 50 mark, which indicates expansion, and it has been above this level for 16 consecutive months.

Both sets of figures will undoubtedly reinforce the view that the Bank of England will leave interest rates and the quantitative easing (QE) programme on hold when it meets next week.

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