Orders for Q1 2012 down 3.6% compared with same period last year
New construction orders dropped 3.6% in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2011 according to ONS figures.
However, in its latest statistical bulletin, the ONS also reported that the figures represent a 4.6% rise on the final quarter of last year.
“In a volatile series, new orders remain at a relatively low level,” the bulletin said.
The news follows the revelation that new orders in 2011 were, accounting for inflation, at their lowest ever level since the data was first recorded in 1980, 39% below the peak of the market in 2006.
The ONS also reported today that new orders in infrastructure rocketed by 60% in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period last year.
But it also said that infrastructure orders had fallen 13.6% compared with the last three months of 2011.
Large increases in new orders were seen quarter-on-quarter in private industrial new work and private commercial new work which grew by 58% and 28% respectively.
However, private new housing orders dropped 11% over this period.
Simon Rawlinson, head of strategic research and insight at EC Harris, said: “[These figures] show construction should continue the growth path shown in recent monthly output data, and should return to growth in the 2nd quarter.
“However, volumes of new work will not be sufficient to make up lost ground during the year – forecasts for negative growth in 2012 are sadly well founded.
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