Improved weather conditions and new business gains contribute to all parts of construction sector recording increase in activity in January

All parts of the construction sector recorded an increase in activity in January, for the first time since last August, according to the latest monthly purchasing managers’ index from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

The index rose to 53.7, up from 49.1 in December, on a scale where any figure over 50 marks growth.

An improvement in weather conditions at the start of the year helped to boost construction work, and there were also gains in new business. Nonetheless, employment fell again.

Civil engineering was the strongest performing category, while commercial-based construction activity extended its sequence of growth to 11 months.

There was also a slight increase of housebuilding to end a four-month contraction period.