Infrastructure spending in the UK hit a record high in the final quarter of 2011, official figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) have shown.
The ONS figures show new infrastructure output hit £3.58bn in the fourth quarter of 2011, 4% higher than the previous quarter and 23.5% higher than the same quarter
It was the highest spend recorded since the construction output survey identified the sector in 1980, and 2011 as a whole was also a record year for infrastructure.
The ONS said this could include work on some well publicised large infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and improvements to the M1 motorway. But it added that this output should not include much of the work associated with the forthcoming London Olympics, which should be largely classified to the new public non-housing (excluding infrastructure) sector.
The figures, seasonally adjusted and at constant (2005) prices, are markedly different than in 2010, which saw a sharp drop in the final two quarters.
However, the overall picture was dragged down by other sectors, with the total volume of construction output in the fourth quarter of 2011 falling slightly by 0.5% compared with the third quarter of 2011. The total volume of construction output in the fourth quarter of 2011 grew by 0.9% compared with the same quarter in 2010.
In comparison with 2010, the total volume of construction output in the whole of 2011 grew by 2.8%.