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Friday 04th of February 2011
February 2, 2011    

UK construction activity recovers in January

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by Kay Murchie

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS)/Markit construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI) has today revealed UK construction activity recovered last month on the back of better weather.

The PMI rose to 53.7 in January, up from December’s 49.1 - which represented the first fall in 10 months due to the severe wintry weather during the month.

January’s reading also easily beat forecasts of a level of 49.7.

The latest figures mean the index is back above the crucial 50 level, which separates growth from contraction.

Activity in the commercial building sector, the housebuilding and civil engineering sectors also rose.

Commenting on the report, Markit said: “Companies reported that January’s improvement in part reflected a rebound from harsh weather in December, which had contributed to the first fall in activity since February of last year.”

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

Meanwhile, the index comes shortly after figures revealed UK manufacturing activity surged at a record pace in January.

The closely-watched CIPS/Markit manufacturing PMI jumped to 62.0 in January from December’s upwardly revised reading of 58.7.

Not only was the reading the highest since records began in 1992, it was well above forecasts of 57.9.

Again, this index continues to stay above the crucial 50 mark, which indicates expansion.

The UK’s service sector activity index will be published later this week.

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