Construction orders rise

British construction orders rose 18 per cent in the second quarter of 2009 compared with the previous three months, although they were still down 21 per cent on the year, according to official data. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics underlined hopes that the hard-hit construction sector would be less of a drag on the overall economy in the third quarter. Private housing orders rose 25 per cent over the quarter, but fell 33 per cent on the year.