Construction activity decline slows, says ONS
By PRW Staff
Posted 25 October 2012
The decline in UK construction output slowed in the last quarter, as new figures revealed the overall domestic economy grew for the first time in nine months.
In what it headlined as a ‘preliminary estimate’ – perhaps in response to criticism that it has made too many subsequent revisions in recent times – the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1% in the last quarter, compared with the previous three months of the year, heralding the end of the recession.
Construction output fell 2.5%, compared with 3% in the previous quarter, the ONS said. Year-on-year construction output has fallen 10.8%.
Manufacturing output rose 1% in the three month period, following a 0.8% decrease in the second quarter.
The ONS said the sector contributed most to the production index increase of 1.1%.
The latest GDP figures were boosted by Olympic ticket sales and by the greater number of working days in the last three months compared with the second quarter, when there were two Bank Holidays to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Ticket sales for the Olympics were said by the ONS to have increased GDP by 0.2 percentage points.
Charles Davis, head of macroeconomics at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said the return to growth was welcome news for the UK economy but argued the new figures did not change the fact that the recovery has been exceptionally weak.
“Although we know the figures are liable to change, it is clear that over the last year the economy has been broadly flat.
“Given the temporary factors driving this strong number; the slowdown in global economic growth and continued economic headwinds emanating from the Eurozone, the UK economy is unlikely to build up a head of steam.
“We think the economy would struggle to record growth in the fourth quarter and is likely to contract by 0.1% across 2012.
Comment on this article.
[ Back ]