A Six Year High for Construction Purchasing Index

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Construction2021 has so far seen the fastest expansion of construction output in the UK since 2014, affecting house building, civil engineering and commercial construction. Seasonally adjusted figures show the IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index registered 61.7 in March 2021. This figure has grown since February when it was 53.3, and the best performing category was house building which scored 64.0. Both commercial construction [62.7] and civil engineering [58.0] were not far off, also the highest since 2014.

There are a number of reasons to explain this growth, one being the continuation of projects that had to be postponed. This was a frequent occurrence within the areas of leisure, hospitality and office development for obvious reasons. People were forced to abandon plans to travel and socialise, which affected the construction industry. Another area to experience an uptake in 2021 is infrastructure. As home sales recovered, so infrastructure and residential building work resumed.

With increased client demand and contracts awarded, there has been a steep upturn in orders and activity throughout March. The rise in projects has had another positive knock-on effect, with a definite rise in employment numbers. Research is showing that this is the strongest it’s been for over two years. The only downside is that although purchasing rates are going up, delivery of supplies is receding. Construction companies complained that logistics problems and supply constraints were standing in the way of progress. This issue is further exacerbated where imported items are concerned. Unfortunately, this has resulted in the sharpest increase in purchasing prices since 2008.

A survey conducted by IHS Markit however, indicated an optimistic outlook for construction in the year ahead. There is a significant feeling of positivity as companies plan new builds and refurbishments. Building companies and tradesmen have a temporary and affordable solution at their disposal. Rhinos Plant Hire have a range of heavy and small plant machinery, tools and equipment available whatever the job in places like Stevenage.

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