Residential building growth helps output rise for first time in six months, according to Markit/CIPS


UK construction output grew for the first time in six months in May, according to the latest Markit/CIPS survey of construction buyers.

The index hit 50.8 in May – the first result over the 50 barrier, which separates growth from contraction, since October 2012.

Output was boosted by growth in residential building work, which enjoyed its fastest pace of growth for over two years.

Markit/CIPS cautioned that the output figure still indicated “only a marginal pace of expansion” and the index remains below the long-run average of 53.9.

The survey recording reductions in commercial construction and civil engineering activity in May, although the pace of decline eased since April.

The overall rise in construction output was supported by the first improvement in new business orders for a year.

Business confidence also grew from the previous month, with three times as many construction firms (40%) anticipate a rise in output as those that forecast a reduction (13%).