Britain’s construction sector has had its sharpest pick-up in activity since 2014 amid signs that the domestic economy is recovering more quickly than Brexit- and pandemic-affected trade flows, new figures have shown.

The latest snapshot of the construction sector, which accounts for around 6% of total UK output, pointed to an across-the-board increase in March, with house-building, commercial projects and infrastructure work all displaying strong growth.

Despite the Covid-19 lockdown the IHS Markit/CCips construction activity index registered 61.7 in March, up from 53.3 in February and well above the 50 level that marks whether the sector is expanding or contracting. The latest reading signalled the strongest rate of output growth since September 2014.

Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit, said: “March data revealed a surge in UK

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