utput in Britain’s construction sector contracted in May, as Brexit uncertainty weighed on demand while job numbers fell at their fastest rate since November 2012.

The Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index recorded a reading of 48.6 for May, down from 50.5 in April. Economists were expecting a figure of 50.5. A reading above 50 indicates growth; below represents contraction.

Last month’s reading is the lowest since extreme weather during last year’s Beast from the East prevented construction work from going ahead in March 2018. It is also the third time the sector has contracted in the past four months.