2014 is proving to be a hugely positive year for the construction sector as output continues to grow at a fast pace.

The latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index noted that construction buyers are seeing the sharpest rise in output since August 2007, prior to the economic crash of 2008. The index stood at 64.6 in January up from the 62.1 recorded in December, any figure over 50 shows growth in the market. It was the ninth consecutive month where the index had been above the 50 mark.

In recent months the construction sector has been showing that it is steadily recovering from the lows that it felt following the recession. Companies are becoming increasingly confident as their order books begin to fill up once again and more projects become available. The Markit/CIPS Index has been reflecting this continued optimism as it rises month on month.

One of the driving forces behind this recovery has been the strong performance of the housing sector. Activity in this market has triggered more work for construction firms, the research noted that housing rose at its fastest rate for ten years. Commercial building and civil engineering have also performed strongly over this same period.

Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, said: "Housing activity growth now stands at its strongest for just over a decade, boosted by growing demand for new homes and improving confidence within the UK property market. Meanwhile, strengthening domestic economic conditions spurred greater spending on commercial projects in January."

Housing has been performing strongly thanks to a number of new initiatives laid out by the government. One of these has been the Help to Buy scheme which allows first-time buyers to purchase a home with just a fraction of the value of it used as a deposit. The government then provides a loan to make up the rest.

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