Construction output growth was weak in the second quarter of 2005 and “critically dependent” on government work, the Construction Products Association said this week.

In its latest survey of contractors and manufacturers, the CPA described growth as “lacklustre” and said that private sector housing activity had slowed.

During the second quarter, manufacturers and contractors said they had faced increased pressure on margins because of rising material and labour costs.

The CPA’s survey said: “Stalling consumer spending and a weakening housing market are taking their toll on contractors.

In addition, civil engineering contractors’ output slipped back.”

Public sector building work showed the strongest growth.

In a survey also out this week the DTI said orders in the second quarter of 2005 rose to £8.2bn, up 9% compared with the previous quarter.