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Travis forecasts building slowdown

Travis forecasts building slowdown

THE UK building industry is heading for a slowdown next year, hit by the recent rises in interest rates and the general economic downturn, Travis Perkins, the country's third largest builders' merchant, warned yesterday.

Tony Travis, chairman, said that despite bullish statements from housebuilders and construction companies, he was cautious on the outlook for 1999. The cumulative impact of higher mortgage rates and macroeconomic uncertainty was already having an effect on the property and housing markets.

His comments came after Travis Perkins reported a 15.5 per cent rise in interim pre-tax profits to pounds 26.12m on turnover up 13 per cent to pounds 304.5m. Shares in Travis Perkins rose 4p to 416.5p.