The U.K construction sector growth slowed more-than-expected in March on slower increase of output and new orders, while confidence rose to the highest level for just over nine years, survey data from Markit Economics showed Thursday.

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply/Markit construction Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 57.8 in March from 60.1 in the previous month. It was forecast to drop to 59.8.

However, any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector. The latest reading signaled a strong rate of overall construction output growth, but was below the average for 2014 as a whole.

Housing remained the best performing sub-sector, followed by commercial construction. At the same time, civil engineering output growth eased notably since February.

New business volumes continued to rise at a strong pace in March, but the rate of expansion eased from February’s four-month high.

Employment level in the construction rose at a weaker pace in March. It was the least marked since December 2013.

Meanwhile, sub-contractor availability continued to fall sharply, which in turn contributed to the steepest increase in sub-contractor charges since the survey began in April 1997.

On the price front, input price inflation accelerated in March, due to stock shortages at suppliers and robust demand for construction materials.

Looking ahead, construction firms reported a strong degree of positive sentiment towards the outlook for business activity over the next 12 months, with the latest reading the highest since February 2006.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company –