Latest data released by Markit - 7 May 2021

The report continues to underscore a strong increase in construction output with commercial work leading the recovery. Meanwhile, the pace of growth in civil engineering work was the quickest since September 2014.

That said, a key point to take note of in the report is that demand and supply imbalances have resulted in input cost inflation rising to its highest level on record in the survey. That adds to the inflation debate that will be on everyone's lips in the months ahead.

Markit notes that:

"The UK construction sector is experiencing its strongest growth phase for six-and-a-half years, with the recovery now evenly balanced across the house building, commercial and civil engineering categories."New orders surged higher in April as the end of lockdown spurred contract awards on previously delayed commercial development projects. This added to the spike in workloads from robust housing demand and the delivery of major infrastructure programmes such as HS2.

"Shortages of construction materials and much longer wait times for deliveries from suppliers were a sting in the tail for the sector. Aggregates, timber, steel, cement and concrete products were all widely reported as in short supply by survey respondents.

"Supply and demand imbalances for construction items, alongside higher transport costs, resulted in severe price pressures across the board during April. The overall rate of input cost inflation reached its fastest since data collection began 24 years ago, exceeding the previous record seen at the top of the global commodity price cycle in 2008."