The UK construction industry has shown first signs of growth in six months, giving encouraging signs the sluggish sector, which has been a brake on UK GDP, will finally pick up and add to growth in the British economy.
April construction PMI data showed an increase to 49.4, well above a forecast for 48.0. While the number is just below the 50 level that separates growth from contraction, it is up from March’s 47.2.
The good news helped lift the British pound against the dollar, up to $1.5580 after the data from $1.5558 before the data at 09:30 am London time.
The UK construction sector has dragged the country’s economic growth between January and March, lowering GDP during the period.
The construction PMI data was compiled by Markit/CIPS, and its senior economist Tim Moore said:
“The overall survey findings are an early indication that construction will act as less of a drag on UK GDP over the second quarter of 2013.”