Activity in the UK construction industry fell to its lowest level in nearly two years in April, a closely watched survey has shown.
The CIPS/Markit Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 54.2 in April from 57.8 a month earlier.
That indicated “a sharp slowdown” at the start of the second quarter, Markit said.
It added that some construction firms said spending decisions were being delayed ahead of the general election.
Any reading above 50 indicates growth, while below 50 points to contraction.
While the latest survey results suggested the construction industry was seeing “solid overall expansion”, the pace of growth slowed even in the residential building sub-sector of the industry, which has driven industry-wide growth for most of the last two years.
New business growth has now slowed in eight of the past ten months, Markit said, but construction firms said underlying conditions remained favourable.
Job creation in the sector remained robust in April, although the rate at which staff were being hired was still slower than the average in 2014, Markit added.
The latest survey comes just a week after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its first estimate of economic growth for the three months to the end of March, which showed growth slowed to 0.3%.