Data released this week shows that the UK's construction growth rate is continuing to drop, mainly because of the slowdown in the commercial sector.
The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said on Wednesday that its construction purchasing managers' index, which reflects activity in the industry, showed that the rate of expansion in September decreased for the second month running.

The index was 54.2 in September compared with 54.6 in August – the lowest since January. However, it was still above the important 50 mark, which denotes no growth, as it has been for the past 44 months.

Industry forecaster Martin Hewes' latest research predicted growth would slow over the second half of the year. He said the rate would fall below 1% in 2003.