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Posted: 16.03.15

UK construction companies continue to bulldoze a positive path ahead

UK construction companies continue to bulldoze a positive path ahead

Construction companies are remaining upbeat, despite the upcoming general election, as activity picked up pace again in February.

Housebuilding – and related building supplies – are leading the way according to Markit, though commercial construction and civil engineering activity also rose at a robust pace.

As such, relative employment figures have increased, and companies have reported that rates charged by sub-contractors have grown at the fastest pace since records began in April 1997.

The Markit/CIPS UK construction PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) rose to a four-month high of 60.1 in February, from 59.1 in January - the 22nd month that activity has exceeded the 50 level - signalling growth ahead of economists' expectations of a fall to 59.

“The latest survey highlights renewed vitality within the UK construction sector, as output growth picked up further from the soft patch seen at the end of 2014," said Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit.

Strong growth in the industry is expected to increase dividends among housebuilders in the FTSE 350. Markit has forecast dividends will rise by 50pc this financial year, to £1.3bn.