Construction output edges up 0.9 per cent in fourth quarter

City A.M. Reporter
UK construction output ticked up by more than first thought in the last three months of the year, pointing to a minor boost in overall economic output, according to figures out today.

Official data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the construction sector – which makes up about seven per cent of the economy – expanded by 0.9 per cent in the fourth quarter, up from the 0.3 per cent rise assumed in preliminary forecasts.

Big falls in construction output were a major factor behind Britain's recession in late 2011 and the first half of 2012, and the country slipped back into contraction in the last three months of 2012, raising fears of renewed recession.

However, construction output in the fourth quarter fell by 9.3 per cent year on year, continuing the trend of annual falls started in 2011.

Britain's economy emerged from recession in the third quarter of 2012, in part due to the London Olympics, but slipped back into contraction in the fourth quarter, due to ongoing falls in oil and gas extraction and the end of the Olympic boost.