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UK Construction Sector Expands Most In 4 Months


British construction sector expanded at the fastest pace in four months in November, thanks to an increase in new work and consequent gains in job creation, though Brexit concerns damped expectations for the months ahead.

The CIPS construction Purchasing Managers' Index climbed to 53.4 from 53.2 in October, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Tuesday. Economists had forecast a score of 52.5.

A reading above 50 suggests growth in the sector.

The UK construction sector expanded for an eighth month in a row and the latest reading was the highest since July.

Job growth was the fastest since December 2015. However, business confidence was relatively subdued due to Brexit uncertainty.

In November, there was a broad-based upturn in the three sub-categories of construction activity. House building activity was the strongest in three months.

Substantial increases in commercial work and civil engineering activity were also reported.

New work increased, but was softer than the average in the third quarter. A robust increase in input buying resulted in longer delivery times.

Further, increased demand led to a surge in input prices in November, which was the sharpest rise since June.

Business optimism rebounded from October's 6-year low to signal the strongest degree of confidence for three months. However, morale was weaker than the average in the first half of the year due to Brexit-related concerns.

The manufacturing PMI survey on Monday showed that activity remained subdued in November amid a second consecutive month of decline in export orders. However, domestic demand increased as Brexit worries prompted clients to stock up on supplies.

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