Growth in UK construction raises hopes of economic revival

City A.M. Reporter
Britain's construction sector grew at the fastest pace in nearly a year in February, boosting hopes that Britain's economy will recover sooner than expected.

Building firms grew more optimistic as order inflow picked up strongly and the headline Markit/CIPS construction Purchasing Managers' Index published on Friday jumped to 54.3 from 51.4 in January, the highest level since March 2011.

Most analysts had predicted a fall, and the actual number easily beat even the most optimistic prediction. The survey showed that new orders were at their highest point since June 2010.

"The rise in output was supported by a stronger commercial expansion," said Markit economist Sarah Bingham. "Residential construction and civil engineering activity also increased, rebounding from contractions last month."