The latest survey by the buyers' body CIPS shows a remarkable bounce back in the broad construction index towards the magic 50 no-change mark.

The index has risen from 30.9 in April to 38.1 in May and up to 45.9 in June. This will no doubt be taken as a sign that things are getting back closer to normality. It may be true, but it is more likely not to be so, unless we recast the notion of what is normal.

It was interesting for me that I happened to be on the phone to Noble Francis at the Construction Products Association when the email carrying the CIPS survey release popped into my inbox.

I caught the figure and mentioned it to him and I could tell from the silence that he found it a little puzzling. I did too, I might add. It seemed way too positive.

But on reflection it is reasonable to expect a strong bounce back in the CIPS index given, for example, what is happening in the housing building sector.

John Stewart at the Home Builders Federation noted in the lastest Housing Market Report newletter that its latest survey showed stock levels were heading back to normal. This comes after a near moratorium among house builders on opening up new sites.

Now, given that house building is what they do, if they want to build homes they have to start some. And there's a little hint in the official house building figures that starts have perked up a bit.

This will be felt in an increase in workloads. But this is far from a return to normal.

It is worth noting in the commentary aside the CIPS numbers.

"Particularly eye-catching was the record points increase in the Housing Activity Index, which has now moved up considerably on the series lows seen during the second half of 2008. This augers well for improvements in house-building and house price data going forward," says Paul Smith, Senior Economist at Markit.

Eye-catching, yes, but it is not unexpected. And it is a far cry from recovery.

Also, I for one am left wondering how the coefficients within the sector weighting has changed to account for the fact that house building has shrunk significantly compared with the other sectors.

Yes it is good news that the CIPS survey is not as gruesome as it was, but we are a long way from being out of the woods.

As Roy Ayliffe, Director at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said on the release of the latest construction survey: "This data suggests that, while the construction sector may be out of the intensive care unit, it's still some way from making a full return to health and there is always danger of a relapse.

And, as Nobel and I touched on when we chatted, we have yet to face the reversal of the massive fiscal and monetary stimuli introduced into the economy over the past months. The precise effects of that may be unknown, but I for one put it in the scary category.

Frankly, if we were not seeing now some signs of improvement (or signs of reduced stress) we really would be in dire trouble.