The UK construction economy remained buoyant in December, with growth in activity rising for the second consecutive month.

Latest figures from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply show that the total construction activity index rose from 57.8 to 58.2 in December, well above the 50 no-change level.

This bucked the four-month drop in the rate of growth between June and September. The survey put the faster growth down to a strong performance in the housing sector. Almost one-third of respondents reported higher levels of residential activity than in the previous month.

The volume of new orders across all sectors also rose, with one-third of respondents reporting fuller order books. Business confidence remains high. Half of all respondents expected activity to rise over the year.