Investing.com - U.K. construction sector activity expanded at the slowest pace in seven months in May, dampening optimism over the country's economic outlook, industry data showed on Tuesday.
In a report, market research firm Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said that their U.K. construction purchasing managers' index fell to a seasonally adjusted 60.0 last month from a reading of 60.8 in April. Economists had expected the index to hold steady at 60.8 in May.
The headline index was above the 50.0 no-change level for the thirteenth successive month, but the latest reading signaled the slowest pace of expansion since October 2013.
Commenting on the report, Time Moore, senior economist at Markit and author the report, said, "Output growth hit a seven-month low in May, but the UK construction sector is enjoying its strongest overall phase of expansion since the summer of 2007."
Following the release of the data, the pound trimmed gains against the U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD rising 0.09% to trade at 1.6761, compared to 1.6775 ahead of the data.
Meanwhile, European stock markets remained lower. London's FTSE 100 shed 0.35%, the Euro Stoxx 50 dipped 0.2%, France's CAC 40 shed 0.2%, while Germany's DAX slumped 0.3%.
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