Construction off to flying start in 2014

UK construction output and new orders in January grew at their fastest pace in almost seven years, according to a new survey.

Last month’s UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index from Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) also found that expansion in housing activity in January was at its steepest since November 2003.

The index, published on 4 February, said there had been the sharpest overall expansion in construction activity since August 2007 while the overall rise in new orders was the fastest since the same date.

Confidence about the year ahead was the most positive since September 2009 while January was the eight month running in which employment rose, marking the longest continuous period of job creation since 2008.

David Noble, chief executive officer at CIPS, said: “The construction industry has started 2014 in formidable fashion, enjoying its strongest growth in six-and-a-half years.

“Housing activity growth was the highest in a decade and remains the fastest improving area of construction. This was supported by a solid expansion in civil engineering and commercial activity, confirming a distinctly positive picture across the board.”

As the construction sector continues to recover, robust, businesses winning new work will benefit from having robust and precise contracts and agreements in place, to reduce the risk of disputes at a later stage.

At Palmers, we can advise on changes to standard form contracts, draft bespoke contracts and assist with other related commercial agreements, such as collateral warranties. For more information, please contact Adam Davis.