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Housing construction grows in April

05 May 2005
A report released yesterday revealed that the number of houses constructed in the UK grew in April.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) said that its construction purchasing managers' index pushed upwards slightly to 54.8 in April from March's figure of 54.7.

However, the CIPS' housing activity sub-index fell for the second consecutive month to 48.9, reflecting a fall in sales.

"Purchasing managers saw a further rise in overall construction activity in April, albeit at a similar rate as last month," Roy Ayliffe, director of professional practice at CIPS, told Reuters.

"However, housing suffered a further slowdown on account of weaker sales."

Wilson Bowden, the fifth largest house-builder in Britain, announced last week that sales had improved since early March but that its first-half completions were likely to be lower than a year ago.

Two other construction companies, Taylor Woodrow and Westbury, were also guardedly optimistic, saying that trading had improved since the latter half of last year but they were still having to tempt buyers with incentives.

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