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  • The March Glenigan Index saw construction starts rebound with growth of 6% compared to a year earlier, buoyed by a double digit rise in private housing.  Starts remained positive across all four commercial and industrial sectors, though publically funded areas remained flat. The civil engineering sector saw growth in underlying starts for the first time since July 2014. The index covered the total value of schemes starting on site between December 2014 and February 2015 with construction values between £250,000 and £100 million.
  • The February Markit/CIPS Construction PMI survey found growth accelerating further since December’s 17-month low, signalling the fastest rise in output since October 2014. The pace of growth increased across the residential, commercial and civil engineering sectors compared to the previous month. The crunch on capacity and skills appears to be benefitting sub-contractors; their rates charged rose at the fastest pace in the survey’s 18 year history. Availability of sub-contractors fell sharply.


  • Growth in the UK services sector continued at a marked pace during February, according to the latest Markit/CIPS PMI. Though the overall rise in activity was weaker than January, employment rose at the second fastest rate in the survey’s history, spurring an accelerated rise in wage costs.
  • The Markit/CIPS Manufacturing PMI hit a seven month high in February, with both output and new orders strengthening compared to the previous month. Consumer goods was the leading source of this growth. An improvement in domestic demand offset a fall in new export orders, which have been hit in recent months by Eurozone weakness and the pound’s strong exchange rate. 
  • UK House Prices increased by 2.6% in the three months to February compared to the previous three months, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index. Despite this rise, the annual rate of growth continued to ease, with prices now standing 8.3% higher than a year ago, down from 8.5% in January and the most recent peak of 10.2% in July 2014.

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