British construction activity expanded at its weakest pace in 12 months during August as a rise in house building was offset by a fall in commercial development.
Declining new business for the second month running also cast shadows over the outlook for coming months as economic and political uncertainty continued to affect business investment.
Purchasing managers index (PMI)
The data was provided by IHS Markit's survey of purchasing managers in the construction sector, and August's PMI slipped to 51.1 from 51.9 in July.
While a number above 50 indicates that business activity in the sector is expanding, a slowdown has been manifest for much of the summer due to reduced levels of commercial work.
August's construction PMI reading was the weakest performance in the sector since August 2016.
One the main reasons for the drop was the slowdown in new orders, which dropped for the second month in a row in August.
Although the drop was a marginal one - certainly smaller than the fall in July - survey respondents cited a reluctance from clients to commit to new projects in the current political and economic environment.
Some maintained that Britain's decision to leave the European Union continued to cause problems.
Duncan Brock at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, which co-authored the report, said: "The sector hit a roadblock this month as purchasing activity slowed for the third month and new business wins were hard to come by."
He added: "Reduced government spending, economic uncertainty and Brexit-delayed decision-making among clients were largely to blame."
With new orders slowing for the second month in a row, doubts were cast over the sector's ability to recover over the next couple of months.
“There were signs that UK construction firms are bracing for the soft patch to continue into this autumn, with fragile business confidence contributing to weaker trends for job creation and input buying during August," said Tim Moore at IHS Markit.
Samuel Tombs at Pantheon Macroeconomics also suggested further Brexit-related slowdowns and a possible recession for the construction sector.
He said: "If Brexit negotiations continue to progress slowly, more firms will activate Brexit contingency plans, freeing up office space and sapping demand for new commercial projects."
Stocks were broadly weaker on geopolitical concerns over the growing tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world
The FTSE 100 slipped 0.2% to 7,426.39 and the mid-cap FTSE 250 lost 0.4% to 19,713.26.
Sterling was also lower as investors headed for haven currencies. The pound was down 0.1% against the dollar at $1.2945, and fell 0.5% versus the euro.