By Daniel Hunter

Growth in the UK's construction output fell to its lowest level in nearly two years in April, according to a closely watched survey.

The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 54.2, down from 57.8 in March. Any figure above 50 indicates growth.

There were indications that construction businesses delayed plans as a result of the general election, Markit said.

Despite showing "solid overall expansion", the survey showed that output in residential building sector of the industry slowed in April. Residential building has been a large driver in the growth over the past 22 months.

April also marked the eighth month in the last ten in which new orders have fallen.

The figures come just a week after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said economic growth slowed to just 0.3% in the first quarter.

Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, said the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the general election was to blame for much of the slowdown.

He said: "Despite experiencing pre-election risk aversion among clients in April, construction companies indicated a strong degree of confidence regarding the year-ahead outlook. As a result, job hiring was robust and little-changed since March, placing further pressure on skilled staff availability.

"Taken as a whole, the latest survey presents a far more upbeat picture than the curiously weak official construction output data for the first quarter of 2015."