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Amended figures shows new construction work at 32-year low

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The level of new construction work plummeted to its lowest level since 1980 in the second quarter of 2012, rather than flatlining as government figures had claimed a few weeks ago

According to the AJ’s sister title Construction News, a correction to the Office for National Staistics new orders figures show a drop of 8.5 per cent between Q1 and Q2, rather than growing by 0.2 per cent, as had been stated earlier this month.

The updated figures, published today (27 September), also found that new work fell 0.3 per cent year on year rather than growing 11.1 per cent as was originally stated.

The figures show the seasonally adjusted volume of new orders hit its lowest level since the third quarter of 1980, which was the worst quarter since published records began in 1964.

The fall in industrial new orders between the first and second quarters of 2012 remained almost the same as in the earlier data at 20.1 per cent.

But private industrial work fell by a much greater degree than previously stated dropping 25.9 per cent rather than 13.3 per cent.

Noble Francis, economics director of the Construction Products Association, said: ‘On the private side, the concerning fall has to be commercial because it is the biggest sector and the most reliant on business investment.’ He said continuing turmoil in the Eurozone and a flatlining domestic economy discouraged firms from investing in commercial buildings.

He added that the falls in new orders point to future drops in construction output. But the drops in work would not necessarily occur in the third or fourth quarters of the year as infrastructure and commercial projects take time to get on site.

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