UK construction growth at 17-month high in May
The Purchasing Managers' Index advanced unexpectedly to 56.0 in May from 53.1 in April. The score was forecast to fall to 52.6.
While the headline index signaled robust growth momentum during May, the latest reading was still much weaker than the post-crisis peak seen in January 2014, the survey showed.
The improvement in May was driven by the fastest upturn in residential work since the end of 2015. May data also pointed to solid rises in civil engineering and commercial building.
The survey revealed a sustained recovery in new work, following the soft patch seen during the first quarter of 2017.
Increased workloads underpinned a further marked rise in employment numbers across the construction sector.
Further, the survey showed that there were more positive developments in terms of cost inflation, as overall input prices increased at the slowest pace for seven months. ■