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New orders up in December but down 13pc for 2009

New construction orders in December rose by 21 per cent compared to November, but orders for the year dropped 13 per cent on 2008.

Office for National Statistics figures out today show £3.3 billion of new orders were made in December compared with £2.7 billion the prior month.

But orders in 2009 totalled £33.1 billion, down 13 per cent from £38.1 billion.

Orders in the three months to December 2009 were flat compared with the previous three months, but up 5 per cent on the same period the prior year.

December saw a huge rise in infrastructure orders to £1.1 billion from £380 million in November.

Across the year, infrastructure was the one significant riser, increasing 42 per cent to £8.4 billion from £5.9 billion in 2008.

Commercial orders plummeted 43 per cent to £7.2 billion from £12.7 billion while private housing orders fell 28 per cent to £5 billion from £6.9 billion in 2008.