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Construction output figures up to near year and a half high

Markit/CIPS statistics also see rise in construction employment

The Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI figures for May revealed the UK construction industry saw output hit a 17-month high.

Output increased to 56.0, a big leap from the previous month’s figure of 53.1.

The rise was driven by a strong display in the house-building sector, plus robust figures across the civil engineering and commercial building sectors.

There was also a significant rise in levels of employment within the construction industry, increasing at its fastest rate since January.

Martin Bennett, regional director of The Vinden Partnership, said: “The continued growth in the construction industry in May is extremely positive and follows on the back of a strong display in April.

“There are numerous positives to take out of this latest survey – the increased employment within the sector, the growth of new business and the easing of cost inflation.

“However, perhaps the biggest boost is the resurgent house building sector, which is great news not only for the construction industry but also for the all people looking to get on the property ladder across the UK.

“Looking forward, many construction companies will be waiting to see whether the next government will be able to prevent an exodus of skilled EU and non-EU construction workers following Brexit.

“Ensuring that there are enough skilled construction workers should be a high priority for all political parties.”