The construction sector expanded at its fastest pace for seven months in August, despite supply shortages holding back growth, a survey suggests.
The Markit/CIPS construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) surged to 64 in August from 62.4 in July, surprising economists who had forecast a fall.
It is the 16th month in a row that the index has been above the 50 level indicating growth.
The rise came despite the slowest delivery times from vendors since 1997.
Markit said the pace of growth was causing supply problems, with the availability of both materials and sub-contractors dropping at their fastest rate since its survey began in 1997.
As a result, it said there had also been a record rise in the rates charged by sub-contractors.
“The sector is struggling to find enough skilled tradesmen to keep pace with new work and the labour market will continue to put pressure on costs until the next wave of apprentices begin to enter the jobs market,” said David Noble, group chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply.
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