Construction industry showed excellent growth 2015
The commercial construction sector helped the building industry to finish 2015 in a strong position, the latest survey of purchasing managers from Markit/CIPS suggests.
According to the UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), buyers were feeling more optimistic in December than the previous month, registering a score of 57.8.
This reading is an increase on the 55.3 seen in November and higher than the 50 mark that is generally seen in the survey as an indication of growth.
The new high point was reached in part due to a strong performance from commercial construction, which saw its fastest period of growth since October 2014.
It is a trend that could be set to continue into 2016, with respondents to the survey indicating that improved economic conditions would help to push up demand for commercial projects.
House-building was also up on the November score, a rise which some observers attributed to Government measures to boost activity in the sector.
There were additional increases in new business volumes, which rose at the second fastest rate since July, thanks partly to a boost in general market confidence.
This in turn led to an increase in job creation, while the use of subcontractors also jumped up from the November data.
And the positive picture could be set to continue over the course of 2016, as more than half of survey respondents said they expected to see an increase in business activity.
Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit said: “UK construction companies finished 2015 in a positive fashion.
“Across the UK construction sector as a whole, the latest survey indicated a strong degree of optimism about the outlook for 2016, with firms mainly citing a strong pipeline of commercial development projects and new housing starts.
“There were also reports that sustained improvements in UK economic conditions had led to upbeat expectations for clients’ budget setting for the year ahead.”