Thursday, May 6, 2010

UK construction expands at fastest pace since Sept '07

(LONDON) UK construction expanded at the fastest pace in more than two-and-a-half years in April on increased demand for homes and commercial property.

A gauge of building activity, based on a survey of purchasing managers, jumped to 58.2 from 53.1 in March, Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

April's reading is the highest since September 2007. Results over 50 indicate expansion.

'It's encouraging to see the construction sector show signs of recuperation for the second month running and suggests that the whole UK economic recovery has real substance,' David Noble, chief executive officer of CIPS, said in the statement.

'Though the industry is moving in the right direction, we mustn't be lulled into complacency as growth is coming from a very low base and operating conditions are still very difficult.'

UK construction shrank for the two years through February and building companies are still cutting jobs, the report showed.

A measure of new orders advanced to its highest level since October 2007, while a gauge of homebuilding showed the fastest growth since August 2007, Markit said. Commercial construction posted growth 'only marginally lower' than the housing industry, CIPS and Markit said.

Taylor Wimpey Plc, the UK's second-largest homebuilder by volume, said on April 29 that its prices in Britain increased about 9 per cent in the first four months of the year as the market improved.

The house builder said it had achieved 74 per cent of its targeted annual sales in the UK. -- Bloomberg

Source: Business Times, 6 May 2010

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