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New infrastructure work shows dramatic 8.6% drop

Poor weather and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend contributed to the latest drop in construction output during the second quarter of 2012, according to official government statistics.

The total volume of construction output was £24.4bn last quarter, a 3.9% fall compared with the first quarter of the year and 9.5% down against the second quarter of 2011.

New work in the second quarter of 2012 fell by 4.6% compared with quarter one, with all sectors showing a decrease. The largest fall was in infrastructure, which was down 8.6%, while private commercial – the biggest sector – showed the smallest fall, decreasing by 0.6%.

Cost consultant Turner & Townsend managing director Steve McGuckin said the latest figures were “black days for the construction sector”.

“Despite Sir Mervyn King’s assertion this week that the economy is ‘slowly healing’ – construction is still walking wounded,” said McGuckin. “Output in the last quarter tumbled to levels not seen since the depths of the 2009 recession. The big drop in infrastructure output is of particular concern for the economy as a whole.”


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