UK construction has seen its steepest rise in activity since 2014, as the domestic economy shows signs of recovering quicker than expected since lockdown restriction have begun to be lifted. The latest figures for March have shown that house-building, commercial projects and infrastructure work are all showing growth.
Despite trade flows being affected by Brexit and the pandemic, the IHS Markit/CCips construction activity index registered 61.7 in March, which is well above the 50 needed to indicate growth in the sector. The previous figure for February was 53.3, showing a significant jump in the rate of activity, and the sharpest growth since September 2014.
According to Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit, ‘March data revealed a surge in UK construction output as the recovery broadened out from house building to commercial work and civil engineering. Total activity expanded to the greatest extent for six-and-a-half years as residential spending remained robust, commercial projects restarted and infrastructure contract awards moved ahead.’
The figures are published amidst further positive news about the UK economy. New ONS data showed spending on credit and debit cards is up since the easing of lockdown started, suggesting that consumers are regaining confidence as over half of UK adults have received their first dose of the vaccination. April figures were at their highest level since the week before Christmas, and at 88% of their pre-pandemic average.
With the economy picking up, this is an exciting time to be starting work on new projects. If you’re looking for a subcontractor for your construction project, The TP Group would love to hear from you.