Growth slows in January but survey says there is still a solid increase in building activity

Growth in the construction industry slowed to its lowest level for 16 months in January, according to new research.

Data from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) said its Construction Activity index fell from 56 in December to 53.9 last month.

A figure of 50 shows no change from the previous month and a figure under 50 shows a decline.

The report said the figure was “at a level indicative of a solid increase in activity, although the rate of growth was the weakest since September 2006.”

Roy Ayliffe, director of professional practice at the CIPS, said: “Concerns are growing over a slowdown in the housing market and general economic market, which is beginning to impact new orders.”

Confidence levels were at their lowest since December 1998 – falling from 66.3 in December to 64.6. The report said it reflected the “growing concerns of a slowdown in the housing market and general weak economic conditions.”

Growth in new orders dropped in January to its lowest rate in eleven months – from 58.8 in December to 56.2.