The growth rate in the construction economy is at its lowest level since November 2001, reports a survey released this week
The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply and NTC Research showed that, although there was more construction activity in May than in April, this was the lowest month-on-month increase for a year and a half.

CIPS director of professional practice Rob Ayliffe said that the monthly growth of construction order books remained strong. But he added: "The gap between the growth of activity and the growth of new orders suggests there have been delays in getting new orders off the ground. Despite being faced with healthy order books, purchasing managers have been cautious in their procurement activity, thereby keeping the lid on rising prices."

Growth in orders was only slightly lower than April's four-month high. Although there was some growth in the commercial construction market, the sector is close to stagnation, according to the survey.