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  • The Glenigan Index covering the three months to April was 10% higher than a year ago, driven by strong growth in private housing, hotel and leisure and utilities projects starting on site. The Index, measuring the value of all UK construction projects starting on site worth between £250,000 and £100m, shows that private housing is still leading the industry’s growth, though commercial and infrastructure work is also on the rise.
  • April’s Markit/CIPS Construction PMI dipped to its lowest level since October, however the index score of 60.5 still represents strong expansion in output.  The moderation in the pace of expansion was a result of easing growth in civil engineering, attributed in part to the ending of a boost from flood relief work.
  • UK GDP grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics’ preliminary estimate. GDP was 3.1% higher than a year ago, the fastest annual growth seen since the end of 2007. This was driven by the UK’s dominant services sector which expanded by 0.9% in the first quarter, with 0.8% growth in production and a 0.3% rise in construction. These estimates are based on roughly half of the data returns and are subject to revision before more detailed figures are released.
  • The GfK Consumer Confidence Index increased two points to -3 in April, its highest level since June 2007. The rise was a result of greater optimism regarding the general economic situation rather than over personal finances. The index has improved markedly from -27 recorded in April 2013.
  • The number of mortgage approvals fell in March of 2014, according to Bank of England statistics. This was the second consecutive monthly fall, following 11 months of growth in mortgage approvals, a reliable indicator of house purchases. However house prices have continued to rise and in April were 10.9% higher than a year ago, according to Nationwide, and 1.5% higher than the previous month.

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