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Construction orders fall 14%, Infrastructure orders grow

Official statistics suggest the construction industry has contracted by 14% in the 12 months to November 2009, but rose by 4% year-to-year in the three months to November 2009.

For infrastructure: “Orders in the three months to November 2009 fell by 28% compared with the previous three month period but rose by 102% when compared with the same three month period a year earlier.

“Infrastructure orders in the year to November 2009 rose by 54% compared with the previous 12 months,” read the latest ONS report.

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: “New construction orders data released this morning suggests that incoming work into the sector is now stabilising after the hefty falls of the past few years.

“One particularly encouraging aspect of the numbers is the continuing improvement in private housebuilding orders; in November they climbed to their highest level since May 2008. This is consistent with the better news from Barratt Developments today who, while remaining generally cautious about the outlook, acknowledged that forward sales have significantly increased.

“The contribution of the acceleration of public spending programmes is evident in the data, whilst in contrast new private commercial and industrial work continues to languish. The key issue looking forward for the construction sector will be whether the private sector can take up the running as the public sector taps are turned off in an effort to rein in the huge budget deficit.”

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