Builders bounce back in April after a freezing March


Britain’s builders were on the mend last month as housebuilding activity perked up in April, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said today.

Its monthly health-check showed construction output still shrinking, but at its shallowest pace for six months.

Its index, where a score under 50 signals contraction, improved to 49.4 from 47.2 in March.

While civil engineering and commercial building is still in the doldrums, residential housebuilding enjoyed its best month for a year.

The improvement partly represents a bounce back from a bitterly cold March, but CIPS chief executive David Noble said the survey was “a reasonable signal that things are a bit better in  the industry”.

Official estimates showed a 2.5 per cent decline for builders during the first quarter, knocking nearly 0.2 per cent off wider economic growth.