Construction sector builds on post-summer rebound

The construction industry finished 2016 with mixed fortunes '“ with output rising at the fastest pace in nine months but the weakness of sterling seeing input costs strike their highest in five-and-a-half years.

Housing was the strongest sub-sector in the construction arena last month. Picture: Contributed

New orders were at their highest since last January, noted the December purchasing managers’ index from Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (Cips).

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The index – where any figure above 50 denotes growth – touched 54.2 in December, up from 52.8 the previous month. It followed robust Cips survey results for the UK’s manufacturing sector earlier this week, adding to evidence of the country’s economic resilience since the Brexit vote.

The construction data was positive for the fourth successive month, with housing activity the strongest sub-sector followed by civil engineering.

Tim Moore, economist at IHS Markit, said it showed a “solid rebound” for the industry.