U.K. September Construction Index Rises to Eight-Month High

U.K. construction grew at the fastest pace in eight months in September, helped by a surge in commercial building.

A Purchasing Managers’ Index by Markit Economics rose to 64.2 from 64 in August, Markit said in London today. Economists had forecast a decline to 63.5, based on the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Growth in commercial activity and civil engineering accelerated last month, according to the report. While housing remained the fastest-growing sector within construction, the rate of expansion eased to the weakest since May, Markit said. A report yesterday showed manufacturing grew at the slowest pace in 17 months in September.

While construction strengthened last month, Markit’s report showed some signs of weakness, with both new order growth and job creation easing to the slowest in four months. Supply-chain pressures led to a “further steep increase” in input costs, it said.

“Construction firms are more cautious about their prospects,” said Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit in London. “Although positive overall, a range of factors tempered business optimism in September, including strong cost pressures, concerns about skilled labor supply and signs that house-building growth has cooled.”

The pound was down 0.1 percent against the dollar at $1.6173 as of 10:36 a.m. London time.

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