Brocker.Org: Britain’s construction sector fought back in April — and it is a good sign for the economy

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Reuters / Kevin Coombs

LONDON — Growth in Britain’s construction sector
unexpectedly accelerated in April,
according to the latest PMI figures from IHS Markit on
Wednesday.

IHS Markit and CIPS’ latest PMI release for the construction
sector — which measures expectations of growth — came in at 53.1
for the month of April.

That was up from the 52.2 reading in March, and well above the 52
forecast by economists prior to the release.

The purchasing managers index (PMI) figures from IHS Markit are
given as a number between 0 and 100.

Anything above 50 signals growth, while anything below means a
contraction in activity — so the higher the number is, the better
things look for the UK.

“With the biggest rise in new orders since the beginning of the
year, the sector is in a strong preelection position buoyed up by
a hardy UK economy and strong client confidence,” Duncan
Brock, Director of Customer Relationships at the Chartered
Institute of Procurement & Supply said.

“The housing sector offered up the best news recovering from last
month’s minor blip and building on its strongest performance
since the end of last year.”

Here is the chart:


Screen Shot 2017 05 03 at 09.35.46IHS
Markit

The sector was boosted in the month of April, the survey showed,
by increased residential housebuilding activity, essentially
meaning that more houses were built. “UK construction companies
reported a solid start to the second quarter of 2017, helped by
faster rises in civil engineering and residential building
activity,” IHS Markit’s release said.

“April data pointed to a solid upturn in new work received by UK
construction companies, with the rate of expansion the strongest
seen so far this year. However, mirroring the trend seen for
business activity, the latest upturn in new work remained much
slower than seen at the peak phase of the recovery in
early-2014.”

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