UK construction sector rebounds in May
UK construction rebounded in May from a near two-year low in April, a closely watched survey has indicated.
The CIPS/Markit Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 55.9, from 54.2 a month earlier, as confidence levels hit a nine-year high. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.
The Conservative majority in May's general election boosted the sector.
Markit's Tim Moore said that result meant a "period of policy uncertainty was no longer on the horizon".
"Additionally, construction firms experienced an upturn in new business growth from April's near two-year low and job creation was the fastest recorded so far in 2015," he added.
"However, it is far from certain whether the relief rally in construction confidence will usher in a lasting turnaround in output volumes on the ground."
Sterling hit an intra-day high of $1.5248 after the construction figures came out, before slipping back slightly, to stand 0.22% ahead for the day.
The PMI also showed construction firms took on staff at the fastest rate in five months during May.
"Greater workloads and efforts to guard against worsening sub-contractor availability were factors supporting sustained job creation, according to survey respondents," said Markit.