UK construction hits six-year high on housing boost

The construction sector expanded by the largest amount in more than six years last month as the housing market continued to strengthen, while civil engineering and commercial activity also grew.

The UK construction Purchasing Manufacturers’ index posted a reading of 59.4 last month, up from 58.9 in September, the steepest growth since October 2007. Anything above 50 on the scale indicates an expansion.

While housing reported the strongest growth, the sector expansion was more balanced than in previous months, with commercial activity growing at the fastest rate since April last year, and civil engineering also making gains.

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“UK construction output continues to rise like a phoenix from the ashes, with housing, commercial and civil engineering activity all seeing strong rates of expansion at the start of the fourth quarter,” Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit said.

“Improved opportunities to tender and a broadening of the recovery beyond housing activity have helped foster confidence in the longer-term outlook for business conditions.”