The British Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) registered 54.2 in March, unchanged from last month, the financial information services company Markit released on Tuesday.
According to the data supplier, the British construction companies indicated a sustained upturn in overall business activity during March, but the pace of expansion remained relatively subdued in comparison to the trends seen for much of the past three years.
By the sub-category, the faster rises in commercial work and civil engineering activity were offset by another slowdown in residential building. The latest increase in housing activity was only marginal and the weakest recorded since January 2013.
March's survey confirms that the UK construction sector is experiencing its weakest growth phase since the summer of 2013. Residential building has seen the greatest loss of momentum through the first quarter of 2016, which is a surprising reversal of fortunes given strong market fundamentals and its clear outperformance over the past three years, Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit, commented.
Heightened uncertainty about the business outlook appears to have weighed on overall construction demand so far in 2016, with survey respondents citing cautious client spending patterns and a reduced willingness to commit to new projects, he added.