Construction PMI stronger than expectations

  • Posted by Shyam Gokani in Uncategorised
  • December 2, 2016
  • No Comments

Growth in Britain’s construction industry unexpectedly touched an eight-month high in November, but its costs rocketed at the fastest pace since 2011, fuelled by sterling’s slump after the June vote to quit the European Union, a survey showed earlier this morning.

The Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) edged up to 52.8 from 52.6 last month, helped by improved readings for commercial and civil engineering activity, as well as solid growth in house building.

A poll of economists had forecast a reading of 52.2. UK construction companies experienced a steady recovery in business activity during November, which continues the rebound from the downturn seen over the third quarter of 2016.

Britain’s economy has performed much better than expected since the Brexit referendum. But a bigger test will come next year, when inflation is expected to rise, eating into households’ spending power.

Like Thursday’s manufacturing PMI, the latest construction survey pointed to a rapid build-up of inflationary pressure. Its gauge of prices companies paid for materials rose to its highest since 2011.

The fall in sterling caused the Bank of England to raise its inflation forecasts in November to allow for a bigger overshoot of its price target than at any time since it gained independence in 1997.

Construction firms quickened their pace of hiring for a fourth month in a row, with jobs growth hitting a six-month high.

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