CranesThe UK construction industry saw output drop in June, ahead of the EU referendum, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said output was down 0.9% between May and June, with a 0.7% fall in the second quarter compared with the opening three months of the year.

The figures largely relate to the period leading up the referendum, and not after the Brexit vote. Even so, the ONS said there is "little anecdotal evidence" to suggest that the referendum had an impact on output.

But a separate survey, conducted by economic researchers Markit, suggested that there was "a clear loss of momentum since the second quarter of 2016" in July, stressing that the vote the leave the European Union was an influential factor.

Samuel Tombs, from Pantheon Economics, said: "The downturn looks set to deepen in the third quarter.

"Meanwhile, Brexit negotiations will be protracted, so businesses will hold off committing to major capital expenditure for a long time to come," he added.

"In addition, the public investment plans won't be reviewed until the Autumn Statement at the end of the year and few construction projects are genuinely 'shovel ready'.

"Accordingly, we continue to think that a slump in construction activity will play a key role in pushing the overall economy into recession over the coming quarters."