UK construction firms boosted by new work

2 March 2012
By Rachael Fergusson
Mobile version
Share |
Construction firms boosted by new work

Construction firms boosted by new work

UK construction firms gained growth and confidence in February after the fastest rise in new work for nearly two years.

A Markit/CIPS survey, in which a reading above 50 represents growth, rose to 54.3 from 51.4 in January - its highest level since last March. Firms benefited from the biggest rise in new business for 21 months, which helped confidence increase for the fourth month in a row to the second highest level in 21 months.

All three categories of the construction industry saw growth in February, with commercial increasing at its fastest level since September 2010, while civil and housebuilders returned to growth.

However, there was a marginal fall in employment as companies made job cuts as part of reorganisations, while energy bills pushed inflation up further, albeit at the lowest level in two years.

The data will boost hopes the economy can avoid a recession after a 0.2 per cent fall in GDP in the final quarter of 2011.

It comes after the survey yesterday revealed that the manufacturing sector continued to grow in February but at a weaker pace than expected with prices rising at their fastest pace for 19 years.

Markit economist Sarah Bingham said: "The improved performance of the construction sector adds to other positive data released on the UK economy.

"However, it remains to be seen whether GDP growth for the first quarter will be recorded and, if it is, any expansion is likely to be only modest as general economic conditions remain fragile."

The lift in confidence came as firms reported rising tender opportunities and hopes for an economic improvement.

The solid performance of the sector was even more impressive given the potential disruption caused by widespread snowfall last month.

Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "While February's survey evidence is encouraging, the construction sector still faces a battle to achieve sustained decent growth.

"In particular, the Government's spending cuts are limiting overall expenditure on public buildings, schools and hospitals."

But he said that a decent reading for the powerhouse services sector on Monday would boost hopes for 0.5 per cent GDP growth in the first quarter of 2012.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1604

"Should the UK's engineers be in or out of Europe? The IET sets out its official position on the EU referendum this week - will you agree?"

->

E&T jobs

  • Solutions Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Mechanical Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Software Renewals Manager

    BAE Systems
    • Preston, Lancashire, England
    • Negotiable

    Software Renewals Manager Would you like to work in a resourceful and developing role within IT Services? We currently have a vacancy for a Software Renewals Manager at our site in Preston Channel Way. As a Software Renewals Manager, you will be responsi

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Technical Manager

    Aggregate Industries
    • Hulland Ward, Ashbourne
    • Attractive salary plus comprehensive benefits

    A key Technical Manager role driving product improvement and compliance with Aggregate Industries, market leader in Construction Solutions.

    • Recruiter: Aggregate Industries

    Apply for this job

  • Field Application Engineer

    Intel
    • Madrid

    Responsible for giving product presentations to the customer describing how Intel products provide the optimum solution to their application.

    • Recruiter: Intel

    Apply for this job

  • Engineers and Scientists

    European Patent Office
    • Munich and The Hague
    • See job description

    We are looking for Engineers and scientists in various technical fields for our locations in Munich and The Hague.

    • Recruiter: European Patent Office

    Apply for this job

  • Director of Product Management

    EMS Recruitment Group
    • West Yorkshire
    • Circa £70,000 PA + car allowance, excellent benefits including lucrative bonus scheme

    Our client is the undoubted world leader in their field. A highly innovative and progressive specialist electro-mechanical product manufacturer....

    • Recruiter: EMS Recruitment Group

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer

    Premium job

    Scottish Prison Service
    • Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh
    • £40,654 to £48,579 plus annual supplement of £10,000

    Build Your Engineering Career. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is an Agency of the Scottish Government, working in partnership.....

    • Recruiter: Scottish Prison Service

    Apply for this job

  • Sales Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Precision Microdrives
    • London (Greater)
    • £25,000 - £30,000 starting salary, inclusive of on-target commissions.

    Precision Microdrives (PMD) is a fast growing technology company that designs, produces and trades miniature electro-mechanical mechanisms

    • Recruiter: Precision Microdrives

    Apply for this job

  • Installation and Commissioning Engineer

    Premium job

    Crest Solutions
    • Corby
    • Competitive

    You will be involved in installation, commissioning & servicing of printing and machine vision related solutions.

    • Recruiter: Crest Solutions

    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