UK construction growth continues

4 January 2012
By Rachael Fergusson
Mobile version
Share |
Construction activity grew last month

Construction activity grew last month

Construction activity in the UK grew last month, but experts warned the wider economy was still likely to have stagnated at the end of last year.

The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index survey for construction, in which a reading above 50 represents expansion, rose to 53.2 in December from 52.3 in November, boosted by new business and a rise in employment.

Civil engineering projects, such as the Crossrail scheme in London, recorded the fastest growth in the month, while house-building increased for the second month running. Commercial construction grew but at its slowest pace in a year.

While the whole sector has grown for 12 months in a row, economists warned it only makes up 7.6 per cent of the total economy, and the strong performance is unlikely to have had a significant impact on gross domestic product (GDP) in the final quarter of 2011.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said the economy's overall performance in the final quarter of last year will depend on how well the powerhouse services sector performed.

"It is welcome news to see any evidence that part of the economy is growing at the moment. However, signs that construction output expanded in the fourth quarter of 2011 does not hugely dilute concern that GDP could have contracted," he said.

New business received by UK construction companies increased for a third consecutive month in December, Markit said, reflecting a general rise in tender opportunities and successful bids. But the growth had eased slightly on the month.

The data also signalled a rise in employment in the construction sector as new orders increased, although the use of sub-contractors declined.

Construction firms also reported a continued rise in input prices, as raw material and energy costs increased, which may fuel fears that the rate of inflation will not cool as quickly as hoped by the Bank of England.

Construction companies were optimistic last month that activity would increase over the next year, but the degree of positive sentiment remained relatively subdued, Markit said.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1606

"Where would Frankenstein and his creative mind fit into today's workplace? Should we fear technological developments or embrace them?"

E&T jobs

  • Graduate Electrical Engineers

    AECOM
    • United Kingdom and Ireland
    • Competitive

    Due to the diverse nature of our business there are many different teams each with very different responsibilities.

    • Recruiter: AECOM

    Apply for this job

  • Network Innovation Engineer / Analyst - UK Power Sector

    Premium job

    Nortech Management Ltd
    • Birmingham, West Midlands or Pershore (Worcestershire)
    • £30,000 - £35,000 (depending on experience) + benefits

    Network Innovation Engineer / Analyst to join a team of talented technology enthusiasts who design and support the low carbon networks of the future.

    • Recruiter: Nortech Management Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer with Strong telecoms background

    Premium job

    Sure South Atlantic Ltd
    • Falkland Islands

    Sure South Atlantic Ltd currently has a unique engineering opportunity in their Falkland Islands office. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, teeming ...

    • Recruiter: Sure South Atlantic Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Cyber, Communication, Information and Data Scientist roles

    Premium job

    Dstl
    • Porton Down, Salisbury
    • Competitive salaries

    Information is everything. Use it to serve your country and help keep us safe.

    • Recruiter: Dstl

    Apply for this job

  • Production Engineer

    Premium job

    Compact Engineering
    • Thirsk / Leeds / Banbury / Colchester / Cambridge
    • Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience, knowledge, aptitude and capability

    A Production Engineer with some knowledge and understanding of radiant energy transfer.

    • Recruiter: Compact Engineering

    Apply for this job

  • Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Nikon Metrology Europe
    • Tring, Hertfordshire

    Nikon Metrology is looking for an Electronics Engineer to join our Electronics Team based in Tring (UK).

    • Recruiter: Nikon Metrology Europe

    Apply for this job

  • Engineering Manager

    BAE Systems
    • Hampshire, England, Portsmouth
    • Competitive package

    Would you like to play a vital role in managing and implementing the correct governance in order to enable BAE Systems to provide assurance and integrity of supply chain data? We currently have a vacancy for an Engineering Manager - Product Integrity

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Engineering Project Manager - Electrical & Automation

    Nestle
    • York, North Yorkshire
    • c£45,000 + Car Allowance + Bonus + Excellent Benefits

    Nestlé Product Technology Centre in York currently has an excellent opportunity for an Engineering Project Manager

    • Recruiter: Nestle

    Apply for this job

  • Consultant Engineer - Test

    BAE Systems
    • Farnborough, Hampshire, England
    • Negotiable

    Consultant Engineer - Test Would you like to be a lead within an exciting team working on one of the UK's largest defence projects? We currently have a vacancy for a Consultant Engineer - Test at our site in Ash Vale. As a Consultant Engineer - Test, you

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • ELECTRICAL PROJECT ENGINEER

    SSE
    • Reading, Berkshire
    • SALARY: £37,588 TO £55,669 + CAR (SSE8/9), DEPENDING ON SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

    SSE are looking to recruit an Electrical Project Engineer into office in Reading

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T