UK construction companies reported a solid start to the second quarter of 2017, helped by faster rises in civil engineering and residential building activity. April data also pointed to the strongest upturn in incoming new work so far this year, which survey respondents linked to the resilient economic backdrop and a sustained improvement in client demand.
Greater workloads underpinned a further increase in employment numbers and the most marked rise in input buying since November 2016. Meanwhile, robust demand for construction materials and upward pressure on costs from sterling depreciation resulted in another steep increase in input prices during April. At 53.1, up from 52.2 in March, the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index pointed to a solid rise in overall construction output.
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