The UK’s construction economy continued its strong growth in the first three months of 2000, but economists warn that the second quarter may show a significant slowdown.

According to the DETR, output in the first quarter was 7% up on a year ago, thanks to increases in private and public sector housing work.

However, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply’s survey for May showed the construction economy growing at a slower rate for the second month running.

The poor weather in May was one the factors cited for the slowdown by Allan Wilén, economics director for the Construction Products Association. Wilén also said interest rate rises and the completion of millennium projects were possible reasons for the slower growth. “There is some concern that the momentum seems to have been lost,” he said.