U.K. June Construction Growth Accelerates to Fastest in a Year

U.K. construction expanded for a second month and at the fastest rate since May 2012 as new orders rose to the highest in 13 months.

An index of activity rose to 51 in June from 50.8 in May, Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said today in London. Economists forecast 51.2, according to the median of 16 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. That’s above the 50 mark that divides expansion from contraction.

“Although the construction sector faces a long and fragile road to recovery, June’s survey highlights a nascent turnaround in optimism about future output,” said Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit.

The survey follows reports yesterday showing manufacturing also strengthened in June and the housing market picked up. Governor Mark Carney leads his first Bank of England policy meeting this week, when officials will probably maintain their bond-purchase program at 375 billion pounds ($571 billion).

The pound weakened against the dollar after the report, and traded at $1.5199 as of 9:51 a.m. London time, down 0.1 percent from yesterday.

The increase in construction in June was led by housing as activity in commercial and civil engineering stabilized, ending several months of decline, Markit said.

Markit’s manufacturing index climbed to a two-year high of high of 52.5 in June. A gauge of service companies to be published tomorrow will probably show a drop to 54.5 from 54.9, according to a survey of 33 economists.

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