Construction (2)

The UK's construction sector slowed to the weakest growth in nine months in January, according to a closely watched survey.

The Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) construction survey fell from 57.8 to 55, far worse than analysts' forecasts of 57.5. Any figure above 50 indicates growth, which means the construction sector is still growing well.

However, factory output grew from 52.1 to 52.9.

The figures sit in contrast to the manufacturing sector, which was reported to have grown faster-than-expected at the start of the year.

The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), which conducted the survey alongside Markit, said the slowdown in growth in construction was due to a shortage of bricks.

Markit economist Tim Moore said: "Taken together with the slowdown in new order growth, the latest survey suggests that construction companies are braced for a relatively subdued first quarter."