The latest survey by the RICS, published this week, said economic growth continued to slow in June.

According to the RICS, the main reasons for the slowdown were weak retail sales, falling manufacturing output and a stagnant housing market.

The growth in retail sales dropped to 1.3%, well below the 6.1% average for 2004, and according to the RICS, house price increases dropped from 19.7% last September to just 3.2%.

In construction, the RICS said it was “startling” to see that output had dropped 1.6% from the same time last year.

It said: “The data implies that growth has stalled for the first time in four years but contrasts with industry surveys indicating output still rising modestly.”

The survey also warned that construction price inflation, which rose 5% in the first quarter on an annual basis, was set to rise further, remaining above general consumer price inflation.