The construction industry has begun the year on a weak footing, with activity shrinking again in bad news for the broader economy.

The Performance of Construction Index slumped 0.5 points to 46.3 in January, remaining below the 50-point level separating expansion from contraction. Ai Group head of public policy Peter Burn said the sector had become increasingly dependent on robust residential construction and, in particular, apartment building in recent months. But apartment…