U.S. construction executives surveyed by Dun & Bradstreet in July reported a notable slowdown in industry growth compared to last month, as well as a year ago. The sector is also less optimistic about the August through October period.

Reports of cost and availability of labor, equipment and building materials as factors limiting production has decreased or remained steady from last month. Therefore it appears the waning house demand is the primary cause of the current slowdown. The industry is observing signs of a long expected downturn rather than a breather driven by a lack of available materials.

Results for three-month expectations showed a six-point drop in the Order Books Index to 34, a decline indicating a usual seasonal pattern. The Employment Index plunged 12 points to 15, an unusually large fall-off for the time of year. The Prices Index fell 11 points to 14, also a sharp decline, even when adjusted to allow for the usual moderate price growth slowdown at this time of year.