Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply warns rise in housing activity is not a “new dawn” for the sector

Last month housebuilding increased for the first time in six months, figures from Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply reveal.

In November the rate of new order growth across the construction industry rose to the fastest rate since May.

However, overall growth in the industry slowed slightly. The construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rated growth at 52.3 last month, down from 53.9 in October.

David Noble, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said: “The rise in activity within the housing sector is particularly progressive, but as this growth is coming from such a low base it doesn’t herald the start of a new dawn.

“Furthermore, construction companies remain cautious about the next few months and highlight the lack of government spending as a particular threat to future business activity.”

Civil engineering output remained largely unchanged in November.

Sarah Bingham, economist at Markit and author of the UK Construction PMI, said: “It will be interesting to see if the government’s infrastructure plans, announced in the autumn statement, will lift construction industry confidence from its current low level.”