onfidence among British construction firms plummeted to a seven-year low in July and output fell for the third consecutive month, adding to evidence of an economy in slow gear.

The latest snapshot measure of activity in the sector, based on a survey and known as the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), came in at 45.3 – substantially below the 50 level that indicates no change from the previous month.

That is the second-lowest level since April 2009, when the economy was still in the midst of a recession triggered by the financial crisis. The worst reading since then was in June, an only slightly lower 43.1.

“July data revealed declines in house building, commercial work and civil engineering, with all three areas suffering to some degree from domestic political uncertainty and delayed decision-making,” said Tim Moore at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.