The UK's construction sector has unexpectedly begun expansion in May, as the sector's purchasing manager's index has risen from 49.4 to 50.8, the highest figure since October last year.
Analysts had predicted a lesser uptick to 49.6. A number above 50 suggests that the sector is expanding. Construction is however much smaller than the manufacturing and services sectors, so this good news will not have great impact.
Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit and author of the
Markit/CIPS Construction PMI®, said:
While the latest survey provides some hope that rising construction output will support UK GDP in the second quarter, the sector remains unlikely to contribute positively to labour market conditions. May data indicated stagnant employment levels at construction firms, with survey respondents noting that cautious job hiring polices persisted across the sector in spite of a slight improvement in output volumes.