UK construction activity unexpectedly accelerated in January, with growth reaching its highest level since the financial crisis, a survey of purchasing managers showed yesterday.
The Markit/CIPS construction PMI rose to 64.6 in January from December's reading of 62.1, the sharpest expansion in UK construction since August 2007.
The number far exceeded economists' forecasts in a Reuters poll for a reading of 61.5, and was well above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.
"January's survey provides reassurance that the UK construction recovery remains on track," said Tim Moore, senior economist with Markit, which compiles the data.
Growth in house-building quickened at the fastest pace since November 2003, the data showed.
The number of new and existing homes coming on to the market is lagging behind demand, however, putting upward pressure on housing prices.
And Markit said stronger demand for construction materials was putting pressure on supply.
"There were again signs that some suppliers are struggling to adjust to greater demand," Mr Moore added.