New construction orders edge upwards

The volume of new construction orders in the fourth quarter of 2012 rose 3.4% compared with the previous three months.

That’s according to the Office of National Statistics whose revisions also include adjusting the third quarters figures to leave the new orders total marginally up by 0.4% in 2012.

In the last quarter, private commercial work jumped 9.7%, leaving infrastructure the only sector to show a slowdown.

Simon Rawlinson, Head of Strategic Research at EC Harris said: “New orders continued to rise in the 4th quarter in real terms by a steady 3.4%.

“However, the eye-catching data release of the day is the 100% upward revision of the 3rd quarter data, which means that overall, 2012 saw a marginal increase in new orders of 0.4%.

“In December, we stated that infrastructure and the commercial sector would be the drivers of the recovery – and it is encouraging to see that these sectors saw a significant upward revision for the third quarter – totalling around £500m.

“Commercial saw a further increase in volume of £250 million during the 4th quarter – albeit that levels of workload still remain at a historic low”.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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