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New construction orders rise for second consecutive month

New construction orders have risen for the second consecutive month, official figures have revealed.

The Office of National Statistics has reported that new construction orders in April stood at £2.7bn, up from £2.3bn in March and up on the February low of £2.1bn. However, infrastructure orders fell from £634M in March to £514M in April.

RICS Chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: “New construction orders data for April released this morning provides further tentative evidence that the worst of the downturn in the economy may have been seen. Total orders rose for the second consecutive month to stand 26% above the February low. Some caution is required as this data is notoriously volatile; new orders in the three months to April were still 8.7% lower than in the previous three month period.

“That said, the pick-up in orders in the housing sector is particularly noteworthy. Orders in private housing have jumped a hefty 57% over the past couple of months. Although in terms of actual numbers, this still represents a relatively low level of activity the improving picture is consistent with reports from housebuilders that they have seen inventory levels being rundown of late.”

Orders in the three months to April 2009 still fell by 9% compared with the previous three month period. Orders in the 12 months to April 2009 fell 29% compared with the previous 12 months and orders in three months to April 2009 fell by 38% compared with the same period a year earlier.

All orders figures quoted are seasonally adjusted and in constant (2005) prices.

Orders for new construction (constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted)
£(M)Public housingPrivate housing

Infra-

structure

Public non-housingPrivate industrialPrivate commercial

All

Orders

2008Dec945189676431687403,128
2009Jan100353703411536292,251
2009Feb1473064145571245882,136
2009Mar165462634490954482,293
2009Apr1754805147371246622,692

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