Latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index Shows Local Authorities Are Investing More In Civil Engineering Activity


The bad weather seen this winter has had an adverse impact on a whole range of building projects. In some areas, heavy rain delayed projects, while in others flooding completely suspended it. Many parts of the UK, particularly southern areas, found themselves partially submerged for much of the cold season.

However, it is not all bad news. New figures have shown that local authorities upped their spending on civil engineering projects in February. In order to complete such projects, organizations often need to make use of truck-mounted access platforms and tracked access platforms to enable them to operate at height.

Facts and figures

The latest Markit/CIPS UK construction purchasing managers’ index revealed that civil engineering activity increased after local authorities found funds to put towards capital projects and maintenance. It is worth noting that in some cases, this was a response to the flooding and adverse weather.

Overall, the index slipped slightly to 62.6 over the 28-day period from its previous six-and-a-half year high of 64.6 recorded in January. However, Markit pointed out that the index has posted over the 50 level (which indicates expansion) in each month since May last year.

Meanwhile, industry optimism was maintained thanks to buoyant orders and a rising number of invitations to tender.

Employment on the rise 

The construction purchasing managers’ index also showed that employment in the sector rose. This will no doubt come as welcome news to those who are seeking work in construction. Meanwhile, contractors increased their charges in response to the sustained growth pattern.

Undiminished depth of belief 


Responding to the findings, senior economist at Markit Tim Moore said: “While some froth has come off overall construction growth in February, the latest data showed that job creation picked up to a pace rarely seen since the summer of 2007. Moreover, in the latest survey there were six construction companies forecasting higher activity over the year ahead for every one anticipating a reduction.

“As a result, there appears an undiminished depth of belief among construction companies that strong growth will be sustained this year, helped by more favourable economic conditions and an ongoing house building recovery.”

The right tools for the job 

Regardless of how positive sentiment is within the construction industry, all firms operating in the sector need the right equipment if they are to enjoy prolonged success. Luckily, it is now straightforward for such companies to access many of the resources they need.

For example, if they are on the hunt for truck mounted access platforms, tracked access platforms and other similar provisions, they can simply head online and take their pick from the available options.

By ensuring they have the perfect equipment, businesses stand a better chance of achieving the results they are aiming for. Of course, this is also key from a safety perspective. The construction industry can be dangerous for those operating in it, particularly when individuals are working at height. It is therefore of paramount importance that these personnel have access to all the resources they need to minimise risk and to go about their tasks as safely as possible.

Anna Longdin writes regularly about the UK construction industry. She visits sites including Price Access to ensure she stays up to date on all the latest industry news and developments.

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