Construction activity expands for first time since 2008
Edited by Andy Jowett.
Activity in the construction sector increased for the first time since February 2008 last month, according to the latest figures from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and Markit.
Their Purchasing Managers Index rose from 48.5 points to 53.1 points in March.
New orders for construction firms increased for the first time in four months and only the second time in the last two years, although job losses in the industry continued to climb.
The residential property sector was at the forefront of the sector's growth, with house builders seeing activity rise for a seventh consecutive month.
CIPS chief executive David Noble said: "Though it's great to see the UK construction sector turn the corner after two years of relentless contraction, it's still very early days."
He added that the upturn may also be "short-lived" because the industry is coming up from "such a low base" after being hit hard by the recession.