Richard Threlfall, KPMG’s UK Head, Infrastructure, Building and Construction commented on the latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index. He said:
“Happy New Year it certainly is for UK construction, as latest Markit / CIPS figures confirm a bounce back in the sector output in December and an overwhelmingly high degree of optimism about the prospects for 2016.
“With commercial building and housing activity leading the recovery, the only sub-sector in marginal decline is in civil engineering activity, but I am confident that will pick up quickly again given the huge pipeline of infrastructure work committed by the Government.
“The industry can expect higher spending by the Government as it rushes to shore up flood defences and repair the damage left by the storms.
“Although cost inflation in the sector moderated in December, the rate of employment increased and we can expect to see further pricing pressure in the first quarter of 2016 as construction demand picks up further. However through the course of 2016 I believe recruitment into the industry will reduce the skills gap and supply and demand in the industry will start to stabilise, bringing more predictable order books and the potential for better margins for Tier 1s.”
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