The UK construction sector expanded for the fourth straight month in May and suggested the strongest output growth for just under seven years, survey results published by IHS Markit showed on Friday.
The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply construction Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 64.2 in May from 61.6 in April.
The score was above the 50.0 no-change value for the fourth consecutive month and exceeded economists’ forecast of 62.3.
Among three broad categories, house building was the best-performing part of construction activity in May, followed by commercial work. Civil engineering activity also increased sharply in May.
New order volumes increased at the fastest pace since the survey began just over 24 years ago. There was another marked rise in staffing numbers in May. The rate of job creation was the fastest since July 2014.
Latest data indicated a steep upturn in purchasing activity and suppliers’ delivery times lengthened sharply in May.
Construction companies remained highly upbeat about their growth prospects for the next 12 months. Positive sentiment was mostly attributed to resurgent customer demand, alongside optimism about the UK economic outlook following the successful vaccine roll out.