Surge in levels of UK home building
A surge by housebuilders helped UK construction activity grow at its fastest annual pace in four months in June, bucking expectations for a slowdown.
The monthly Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index (PMI) jumped to 62.6 in June from 60 in May – its highest level since February and well above analysts' forecasts of a fall to 59.5. A reading above 50 represents growth.
The data boosted the pound, which rose on Monday to its highest level in nearly six years driven by manufacturing data which also beat expectations.
The report revealed the fastest pace in hiring in the construction sector since the survey began in April 1997, as economic conditions improved and business confidence has grown.
Housebuilding was the best-performing area of activity, with the rise in June the steepest since January. Commercial construction also rose at its most marked pace for five months.
Civil engineering was the only area of activity where growth slowed, in part due to the completion of flood relief work after heavy storms earlier this year.