LONDON, (Reuters) - Growth in Britain's construction sector slowed in October after hitting its fastest pace in six months in September but the increase in new work was the quickest in a year, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The CIPS/Markit construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) slipped back to 58.8 in October, in line with a Reuters poll of economists, from 59.9 in September.
A reading of British manufacturing published on Monday showed surprising strength last month, suggesting the economy may have gathered pace in the final quarter of 2015.
Tuesday's construction survey suggested the sector was also helping the economy to grow in the final quarter of the year, in contrast to preliminary official figures which showed it acted as a drag in the third quarter, Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, said.
Housing activity growth eased from September's 12-month high and the rise in civil engineering was the slowest since May. However, commercial building work increased at the sharpest pace for eight months and the rise in incoming new work was the steepest since October 2014 as construction companies won projects from public and private sector clients, Markit said.
Reporting by William Schomberg; Editing by Alison Williams and Susan Fenton