Survey reveals that industry growth slowed slightly last month while optimism about future business fell to a three-year low.

The rate of growth in the construction industry was at its weakest since July last month as new orders slowed and optimism about business fell to a three-year low, according to a survey.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said its construction Purchasing Managers’ index slipped from 56.8 in September to 55 in October, although the index stayed above 50 for the 69th consecutive month. A figure below 50 represents contraction in the industry rather than expansion.

The effect of interest rate rises contributed to a full in the index of future business from 77.9 in May to 71.9 last month.

“Purchasing managers saw further growth across all areas of the construction sector in October, although at a slower rate,” said Roy Ayliffe, director of professional practice at CIPS.”

“This was due to a slowing down in the rate of growth of new orders, as well as delays between the completion of existing contracts and the start of new projects.”