UK construction growth
surprises, hitting four-month high: PMI
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[May 03, 2017]
Growth in Britain's
construction industry accelerated to a four-month high
in April, adding to tentative signs that the economy
might be recovering a little momentum after a lackluster
start to 2017, a survey showed on Wednesday.
A bricklayer working for Taylor Wimpey builds a wall on
an estate in Aylesbury, Britain February 7, 2017.
Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI)
rose to 53.1 from 52.2 in March, against forecasts in a Reuters
poll of economists for a slight fall.
Civil engineering grew at the fastest pace in just over a year
and growth in house-building hit a four-month high.
The figures followed a similar survey published on Monday that
showed British factories had their best month in three years in
The readings should come as a relief for Prime Minister Theresa
May as she gears up for a national election on June 8.
Official data last week showed the economy slowed sharply in the
first three months of the year as inflation hurt consumers.
Wednesday's release showed construction companies took on
workers at the fastest rate since May last year to help cope
with an influx of new orders, while cost pressures on firms
eased further after hitting six-year highs earlier in 2017.
Bank of England officials are due to meet next week to set
interest rates, with some policymakers uneasy about the risk of
inflation becoming entrenched in the economy.
Economists will be eyeing Thursday's PMI for the much larger
services sector for a stronger steer on how the economy has
started the second quarter.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by John Stonestreet)
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