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Growth in construction sector 'better than expected'

The construction sector has grown faster than was predicted so far this year, especially in the third quarter, indicating that the wider economy is booming, according to a new report.Data from the latest Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that the sector will continue to enjoy further robust growth during the fourth sector of 2014.Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: “The construction sector has grown faster than previously thought so far this year, and especially in the third quarter, adding further to signs of a booming economy.”According to information from the ONS, output growth in the third quarter increased sharply, rising from 0.8 per cent to 1.6 per cent, meaning its overall contribution to the UK's gross domestic product is 0.7 per cent.In the second quarter, original estimates suggested there would be no growth at all, but 1.7 per cent was achieved. The performance of the sector brings the official data in line with buoyant business survey evidence of a boom in the building industry this year, led by a surge in house construction.   Stefan Friedhoff, managing director for construction at Lloyds Bank commercial banking, said: "Much of the evidence - both in surveys and anecdotally - points towards a market that is cooling slightly as the year draws to a close, so this official data is unlikely to come as a total surprise."Elsewhere in the eurozone, the latest data for the construction sector provided evidence of a sluggish economy. In October, production grew by just 0.1 per cent, which is half as fast as economists had predicted, representing a slowdown compared to the 0.5 per cent achieved in September.Ireland had the strongest rate of monthly growth at nine per cent, while industrial output shrank by 0.9 per cent in France and the Netherlands. 

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