U.K. Construction Slows to Six-Month Low as Flood Work Cools

U.K. construction growth slowed to the weakest pace in six months in April as some civil engineering companies reported less work related to flood-relief efforts.

A Purchasing Managers’ Index declined to 60.8 from 62.5 in March, Markit Economics said today in London. The median forecast of 17 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for a dip to 62.2. Britain had its wettest winter for almost 250 years with some parts of England experiencing floods that bolstered rebuilding and repair work earlier this year.

Markit’s construction measure has slowed for the past three months, though it remains above the 50 level that indicates expansion and reached 64.6 in January, the highest since 2007. A gauge of new orders rose to 60.8 last month from 58.4.

“Construction growth has started to moderate from the rapid pace seen over the winter, but strong rises in new work and payroll numbers provide ample optimism that output will expand strongly over the course of 2014,” Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, said in a statement.

While today’s report shows construction output may be easing, factory data yesterday added to evidence that the U.K. recovery is broadening. The housing market continues to strengthen, with Nationwide Building Society reporting this week that property prices climbed the most since 2007 last month.

“Residential construction was the best performing broad area of activity and the rate of expansion in April remained one of the fastest seen over the past 10 years,” Markit said.

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