Construction industry grows

Good news for umbrella company construction workers; the industry grew at its fastest pace in eight months in February.

A survey of purchasing managers conducted by Markti/CIPS shows the construction PMI has jumped almost three full points to 56.5 in February, event though a slight fall had been expected.

The construction sector was a key contributor to the UK economy’s 0.6 per cent dip at the end of 2010, due in part to the bad weather in December.  So the current upturn is seen as positive.  A better first quarter in 2011 is expected to trigger a bank rate rise by June.

The survey showed all three construction sectors recorded growth last month, with civil engineering enjoying the strongest expansion in three years.  Home-building also increased and commercial building continued growing for the 12th successive month.

New orders are driving the growth, and some projects that had been delayed are now going forward adding even more opportunity for builders. However, there is still some gloom over government spending cuts that will likely impact civil engineering projects and the residential housing market.

Still, optimism reigns with some contruction companies reportedly taking on staff to cope with higher workloads.