More construction firms reported a rise in tender enquiries in June than reported a drop, the first time this has occurred in a year and a half, according to figures from market analyst Experian

The agency’s monthly economic tracker showed the tender enquiries index edged above 50 in June. Fifty is the baseline figure, below which a decline is indicated.

The employment index also climbed for the fifth successive month, indicating less pessimism surrounding job prospects, though it remained at 38. Of the 11 regions covered by the tracker, only East Anglia’s indicator was above 50, though the pace of contraction slowed in seven areas.

The picture remains ‘pessimistic’ for contractors, manufacturers and specialists

Figures from the Construction Products Association also indicated a slowdown in contraction in the second quarter, but warned the picture remained “pessimistic” for contractors, manufacturers and specialists.