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The UK construction sector has a lot to feel optimistic about as a survey in December 2020 indicated an uptake in business activity. A monthly survey of purchasing managers revealed that increased orders are driving the recovery. Construction projects that had to be delayed early in 2020 are now beginning to continue. With extra demand due to a sharp rise in house building, more jobs within the industry were available in December too. By December, client demand had improved for the seventh month in a row. Purchasing prices however escalated due to supply shortages and an increase in the cost of steel and timber.
Economics director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, Tim Moore said: “December data illustrated a positive end to the year for the UK construction sector, mostly fuelled by a sharp rebound in house building. Overall output growth has slowed in comparison to the catch-up phase last summer, but now it is encouraging to see the recovery driven by new projects and stronger underlying demand.
“A sustained improvement in construction order books resulted in a rise in employment numbers for the first time in nearly two years and the most optimistic growth expectations since April 2017. Construction companies are hopeful that higher demand will broaden out beyond residential projects in the next 12 months, led by infrastructure spending and a potential rebound in new commercial work from the depressed levels seen during the pandemic. “Transport delays and a lack of stock among suppliers were the main difficulties reported by UK construction firms at the end of 2020, which contributed to the fastest rise in purchasing prices for nearly two years.”
The increased activity is also good news for plant hire companies such as Rhinos Plant Hire, as using their services will keep costs down for builders in places like Hertford.
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