German Construction Sector Expands At Faster Pace

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 Germany's construction sector activity expanded at the fastest pace in four months in May, survey data from IHS Markit showed Wednesday.

The construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 53.9 in May from 50.9 in April. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The sector continued to rebound from a weather-related downturn at the end of the first quarter.

Of the three broad areas of activity monitored by the survey, both residential and commercial sectors registered the strongest rate of growth since January. Meanwhile, civil engineering activity remained in contraction.

New orders increased and construction companies continued to raise employment in order to expand capacity.

However, the rate of job creation eased to a 15-month low amid reports from surveyed firms of difficulties finding suitably skilled staff.

"With the survey continuing to highlight difficulties finding skilled staff as well as another sharp deterioration in sub-contractor availability, constructors have become a little less optimistic about the outlook," Phil Smith, Principal Economist at IHS Markit, said.