Latest figures published by IHS Markit / CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers Index reads better than this time last quarter. Ok, the big freeze and an early Easter can attribute for some of this spike.

This report highlights the highest rise in performance since November of last year and, just as importantly, the fastest increase in new orders since May of 2017.

Over the previous few quarters residential has propped up a delicate market, but the below report also points towards increased interest in commercial work - a much welcomed announcement, given ongoing uncertainty around Brexit. We all saw investment coming to a grinding halt in 2008.

I have met with a large number of decision makers (MD’s and Sales Directors in particular) from within the building products market of late and many are pointing towards projects that were due to get underway suddenly going quiet. Let’s hope this report points towards investors deciding it is business as usual!

According to the report new orders in civil projects are the main worry currently. Then again, I have read only today that in the North West Civil Engineers are worried by the lack of plant available for major motorway projects. Work is due to start on four major Smart Motorway schemes around the M6, M60, M56 areas over the coming year. This should beef up the supply chain somewhat. And then there is the HS2 project that is due to start in earnest in March of next year.