British builders notch up fastest growth in six years
UK construction grew at the fastest pace in six years in August amid a revival in the housing market, adding to signs that the economic recovery is gaining traction.
An index of output rose to 59.1 from 57 in July, Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
The report suggests the recovery is taking hold across the British economy, with Markit's gauge of manufacturing output published yesterday rising to a two-and-a-half-year high.
Bank of England officials will probably maintain the level of stimulus after Governor Mark Carney and officials pledged to keep the benchmark interest rate at a record low for three years.
The figures "are yet another indication that the UK economy has performed impressively over the summer months," said Markit economist Tim Moore.
"It seems highly likely that the construction sector will provide another positive contribution to UK GDP in the third quarter of 2013."
Residential construction was the best-performing sector last month, growing at the fastest rate since June 2010. Civil engineering expansion was the strongest since September 2007, and commercial construction rose at the fastest pace since May 2012. New work coming in rose at the fastest rate since March 2012, with anecdotal evidence of a pick-up in housing-related demand and more public-sector infrastructure spending.
Property researcher Hometrack said house-price growth accelerated in August.
The Engineering Employers' Federation also raised its forecasts for economic growth and manufacturing output. (Bloomberg)