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UK construction output growth falls more than expected in August

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UK construction output growth falls more than expected in August

Output growth in the U.K. construction sector slowed to a three-month low in August as housing activity expansion eased to its weakest pace since March and work on civil engineering projects fell for the first time in five months.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK construction purchasing managers' index decreased to 52.9 in August from a 14-month high of 55.8 in July and came in below Econoday's consensus estimate of 54.9.

"The construction sector slipped back into a slower growth phase in August, with this summer's catchup effect starting to unwind after projects were delayed by adverse weather at the start of 2018," said Tim Moore, associate director at IHS Markit.

New business growth slowed after reaching a 14-month high in July as investment spending continued to be held back by Brexit-related uncertainty. Suppliers' delivery times lengthened to the greatest extent since March 2015 amid material and skills shortages, IHS Markit said.

Construction companies were confident that business activity will expand in the next 12 months but the degree of confidence dropped to its weakest level since May.