Construction activity in the UK, which accounts for about six per cent of GDP, slowed from a five-month high reached in August, a survey found yesterday.

But it continued to enjoy solid growth as employment levels reached a six-month improvement.

In its monthly report on the sector, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said its headline purchasing managers index dropped to 53.6 in September from 54.5 the previous month.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while below represents contraction.

"In September, we saw continuing growth in UK construction activity, with increased work on commercial projects being a key driver," said Roy Ayliffe, director of professional practice at CIPS.

Despite a weakening on August's performance, purchasing managers remain optimistic about the future, he said, adding that many expect construction activity to rise in the next year.

CIPS said increasing confidence over future growth was reflected by trends in purchasing and employment in September, with input buying rising at its fastest pace since March, while growth of the UK construction workforce burgeoned.