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Fastest growth in UK construction since 2007, index finds

Construction apprentices will be pleased to learn of new opportunities as a result of the UK construction sector picking up speed over the last few months.

The latest Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) revealed that sector output rose last month at the fastest pace in more than six years, increasing to 62.6 from 59.4 in October. A reading above the level of 50 highlights a strong growth in activity levels, so the November reading was especially positive news for the sector. The reading marked the seventh month of growth in a row, and beat a forecast for a slowdown to 59 in a recent poll carried out of economists by news agency Reuters.

Senior economist with Markit, Tim Moore, commented: "Construction activity continues to spring back to life during the final months of 2013."

Markit also confirmed that domestic building activity was its fastest in a decade, due in part to the Bank of England's schemes to boost mortgage lending, which encouraged housebuilders to begin new developments.

Commercial construction levels also rose in November, the Markit Index confirmed, offering opportunities for apprentices across the plastering, bricklaying and electrical sectors.

UK economist at BNP Paribas, David Tinsley, told the BBC that the results were positive news, and suggestive of more good things to come: "These survey indicators are suggesting something like a one per cent rise in GDP [gross domestic product] in Q4. If this sort of pace can be continued into 2014, then the level of UK output will have risen above its pre-crisis peak by next summer."